Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Recently Read: The Boy Commandos, Vol. 1, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby


The Boy Commandos Vol. 1 is a much appreciated 250 pages of the first, chronological
Commandos stories created for DC by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Applying the kid gang concept to WWII, the series features kid representatives of several Allied countries, each with his own (somewhat annoying) accent.

As with Kirby's '70s WWII series, The Losers, Commandos uses WWII scenarios to tell a variety of human interest stories. One story begins with Nostradamus; another ten thousand years in the future (Kirby was often willing to employ his love for science fiction pulp in his work). Gangsters, a Japanese prisoner, a family curse, a pampered aristocrat and the French Underground are all used as story ideas; Simon and Kirby themselves make an appearance in "Satan Wears a Swastika", along with The Sandman and the Newsboy Legion.

The stories are smartly printed on non-glare matte paper, using the original colors. Much of the art is printed a little too dark, but is still preferable to modern re-coloring.

Like most comics of the period, the stories are of limited emotional resonance and can be formulaic (though Simon and Kirby, as seen above, mixed and mashed different story angles with more agility and experimentation than most). I read the book in two different sittings, giving my mind a rest with other readings. Any way you choose to read it, it's a good compilation of some of the better comics being produced at the time.
Pin It

No comments: