Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos burst onto the scene in May 1963 with issue one of “Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos”. Set in World War II, the Howling Commandos served as a mixed racial unit fighting the Nazi forces primarily in the European theater. By issue number 3, the Howling Commandos WWII setting was established as part of the primary marvel universe though the introduction of Major Richards, (better known as Mr. Fantastic, although this appearance is set before the origin of the Fantastic Four). However, the adventures of the Howling Commandos stand out, as it is a group of non super-powered men, primarily fighting against overwhelming odds of other non powered men.
By Howling Commandos #4, we have the first significant event in the series, the death of a commando. In this case it is “Junior” Juniper” the youngest of the commandos. His death had a lasting effect on the team and its leader for years to come. Junior was not replaced until Howling Commandos #8, with the introduction of Percival “Pinky” Pinkerton, a British solder who is assigned to the commando’s.
The commando’s did not just fight in the European theater though, with Issue #10, we have a story titled “On To Okinawa!” where the Commandos do a mission in the pacific theater against Japanese forces.
Each Commando stands out in there own Unique way:
- Sgt. Fury – notable for his Cigar, and his attitude, Fury stands as the leader of the commandos
- Corporal “Dum-Dum” Dugan – in his Bowler Hat, “Dum-Dum” stands out, is often noted for saying his wife and mother in law is his reason for staying and fighting the war.
- Dino Manelli – a Charismatic actor who is fluent in German and Italian, skills that prove useful to the Commandos
- Gabriel Jones – An African American member of the unit known for always having his horn.
- Izzy Cohen – Izzy is a Master Mechanic for the commandos, his is also noted for being the first proven Jewish American comic book hero.
- Jonathan “Junior” Juniper – most notable for his lasting death; dying in issue #4. Jonathan was also the youngest Commando and attending an Ivy league school back home before he enlisted.
- Robert “Rebel” Ralston – a member of the commandos native to Kentucky.
- Percival “Pinky” Pinkerton – a British solder whom joined the commandos in Issue #8. also known for his skill with his umbrella as a weapon.
The Commandos, like most teams, should also be known for there supporting characters:
- Captain Samuel “Happy Sam” Sawyer – Serving as the company commander over Fury and his Howling Commandos
- Pamela Hawley – Nick Fury’s girlfriend. First appeared in Issue #4.
Howling Commandos Appearance List and Reading order:
*Based of what I have reviewed so far: