Our Army At War #81: "The Rock of Easy Co.!"

Our Army At War #81
"The Rock of Easy Co.!"
April, 1959

Story: Bob Haney
Art: Ross Andru and Mike Esposito

This was the first of many stories of Easy Company and of their sergeant
who faced off against the opposing officer, The Iron Captain in... "The
Rock Of Easy Co.!"  The Iron Captain was a giant among his fellow Nazi
soldiers... From his cap to his large boots, the captain was an iron man.
His teeth show as the order goes out for iron rain to fall on the enemy
-- Fire!!

On the other side of No Man's Land, the small group comprising Easy
Company were waiting for the attack...  The mortar shells rained down on
the battlefield with thunderous results.  After the rain, the sergeant
has a gun set up, and knows that the enemy will soon be moving after the
barrage.  The Sergeant of Easy Company is able to handle the machine gun
as if it were a child's toy.  He had spent his time working in a steel
mill and was used to working with hot steel throughout the day.  On the
Nazi side of No Man's Land, the Iron Captain brings down his hand, as the
mortars begin to fire once more.  VOOMP!  VOOMP!  The iron grew hot near
Easy Company, but the sergeant isn't bothered by the noise.  He's heard
worse in a steel mill.  The mortar shells continues to fall along the
line, but the sergeant isn't bothered by the heat.  It may melt steel,
but not through rock.

The barrage has ended, with the enemy advancing on Easy Company.  The
Iron Captain lead his troops like a giant out of myth... with his thrown
grenade exploding near the remaining machine gun.  BLAM!  The Nazi
Captain and his troops pass through the barbed wire, but the man of iron
is met by the rock-solid sergeant.  BRATATATAT!  The wave of men subside
from the lone man with the machine gun... and are driven back.  BRATAT!

All is quiet... until the tank begins its approach across No Man's Land.
KLANK  KLANK  KLANK!  Sergeant Rocky isn't fazed, especially since he's
used to handling hot metal.  The Iron Captain was a passenger on the
tank, determined to break through the American line.  The former steel
worker crawls his way through the battlefield and meets the oncoming tank
with a special T.N.T. surprise.  KLANK!  KLANK!  The bullets are flying
all around him... but the sergeant stands his ground, and moves only when
the treads are rolling towards his gift.  BLANG!  The tank has gone where
none would dare tread.  The sergeant is unharmed, but his fellow soldier
has taken a bullet.

The tank is out of commission -- but the Iron Captain still had his hand
on a grenade.  As the Rock of Easy Co. is making his way out of No Man's
Land, the man he's carrying sees that a potato masher is about to come
their way.  RATAT!  Sergeant Rocky still has a clip!  BWEE!  VIIP!  The
bullets send the potato masher back... but the Nazi Captain keeps on
coming...  The burp gun is aimed towards the two men, but the sergeant is
able to knock it out of the Nazi's hands.  BRRP!

As iron man and steel worker meet in their own personal battle, the fight
is filled with powerful punches, and sore jaws.  When it is over... the
Iron Kapitan is brought to his knees in front of his men.  They can only
wonder how such a thing could happen.  Those in Easy Company know that
this is what happens when you meet up with the Rock of Easy Company.

This story was recently reprinted in World's Best Comics: Silver Age

The cover art for Our Army At War #81 was by Jerry Grandenetti.  "The
Rock Of Easy Co.!" is carrying his fellow soldier, while an unseen enemy
is about to hurl a potato masher in his way.  Whether he gets the hot
potato or his machine gun takes down the offender, we don't know.  Nice
emphasis on the grenade (complete with Nazi swastika) and the soldier
aiding his fellow man.

Bob Haney was the writer for "The Rock of Easy Co.!"

Ross Andru and Mike Esposito give "Sergeant Rocky" a hairy face and hairy
arms for the former mill worker.  (Holy Man of Steel, Batman!)

The Iron Captain comes complete with the patented Andru/Esposito
villainous sneer.

It couldn't have been in Easy Company if there was just Sergeant Rocky
and one other nameless soldier to keep him company.

The sound effects are fun and quite effective in their way.  These were
the days when captions were king.

The enemy tank is colored purple, which was a color also reserved for

It is unknown whether it was the mine or the BLANG! sound effect which
took out the tank.

In hand-to-hand combat, the Nazi Captain was a giant, but the Rock of
Easy Co. ironed the floor with him.

At the end of the story, the nameless soldier tells the surrendering
Nazis that they shouldn't have messed with the Rock of "East" Company.
(Holy East of Eden, Batman!)

Sergeant Rock existed on Earth-1, Earth-2, and Earth-B.  Robert Kanigher
has said in the letters page that Rock was on Earth-R and that he was
killed by the last shot fired at the end of World War II.

This Review Is Dedicated To The Memory Of Bob Haney.


Steve Chung
"The Review of Easy Co.!"