Monday, May 07, 2018

Rock may have had more brothers than Private Ryan, maybe.


The local comic-con is about a month away, which is good news, since the pile of quarterbooks I blog is mighty short. I had this issue left, but didn't think I liked it when I read it before, or else I would've probably blogged it already, right? Maybe a re-read would help. From 1982, Sgt. Rock Annual #2, "Sealed in Blood!" Created and written by Robert Kanigher, art by Dan Speigle.

I never read a lot of Sgt. Rock as a kid, but I remember a reprint of "Iron Major--Rock Sargeant!" which features an extended flashback of Rock and his brother testing an advanced paratrooping technique, without chutes; and his brother dies. It's basically to set up Rock jumping out of an alpine castle window later, but I would bet that brother had never been mentioned before, or since that issue. I would've said the same of Rock's other brother, Lt. Larry Rock; but he may have been mentioned earlier as stationed in the Pacific theater. However, after catching some shrapnel in his skull, he needed serious surgery, but refused to leave his men until they were killed covering General MacArthur's retreat from Corrigedor. (That should be Corregidor, but close enough.) Sgt. Rock is glad at least his brother is out of it, since MacArthur sent Larry to Switzerland for the surgery.

This issue guest-stars Jeb Stuart and the Haunted Tank, Mlle. Marie, and Johnny Cloud; all of whom are working on sealed orders to get Rock to a mountain castle, which might be the same one Rock last fought the Iron Major. Here, the Major defends a prisoner from torture: Larry, captured by Nazis who wanted to torture MacArthur's battle plans out of him. The Major, somewhat surprisingly, doesn't approve of torture or Nazis, and is about to be shot before Rock saves him--but that doesn't keep the Major from fighting Rock!

Without the surgery, Larry's head may not have been on straight: as he and Rock escape on the roof of a cable-car, he tells his brother to obey his orders, and kill him rather than allow him to be re-captured. When Rock refuses, Larry takes a shot at him, then tries to jump off, and Rock is unable to save him. When the cable-car reaches the other side, Easy Company and Mlle. Marie are waiting for him, so Larry's sacrifice was 100% unnecessary. Even with the Iron Major and a Nazi robot, that still makes this issue a downer. Yeah, like all of Rock's adventures were super-upbeat.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Nice character recap though. I guess this proves, you can't get blood from a stone, but sometimes, just sometimes, you can make a rock cry ;)