Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Losers - The Partisans!


The Losers return in the one hundredth and fifty-fifth issue of Our Fighting Forces and this might just be my favorite of all the Kirby Losers stories. With this issue and the last, D. Bruce Berry turned in his best efforts on the series.


The story titled "The Partisans" has the Losers back in the European theater and working with the Resistance in Yugoslavia.


A wounded Gunner and Sarge have become separated from the other Losers and meet up with a group of Resistance fighters led by a dour and silent man in a fur cap. Silently these "Partisans" head toward their mission which is to blow up a bridge. Sarge with the wounded Gunner on his shoulders has little choice but to tag along. When the bulk of the Resistance force head into the village and engage the Nazis Sarge takes it upon himself to help set charges on the railway bridge they seek to destroy.


He comes under attack by a Nazi tank and just as he is about to be blown to smithereens the tank's attention is distracted by the assembled Partisans and the tank fires into the group and the hill behind them setting off mines and the resultant explosions destroys the bridge completing the mission. Sarge survives and is saved from Nazis by the man in the fur cap. Then Johnny Cloud and Captain Storm along with reinforcements arrive and see to the treatment of their partners. Later Sarge describes the men he fought alongside and learns that those Partisans appear to have been possibly the ghosts of men who died some months ago trying to destroy the bridge. But it is left uncertain.


Great yarn with a beautiful pacing. Since the story focused on Sarge and Sarge alone he had plenty of time to himself on the stage and the mystery of his allies is delightfully telegraphed by Kirby who takes pains to only suggest what the reader suspects and doesn't take the next step to confirm it precisely. It makes for a great atmospheric war story with real punch and features possibly the best artwork on the series to date.


More Losers to come next time.

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