Aristocrats of War #12 – Sgt. Rock

Sgt Rock 

As promised last week, I am going to dig into the lore of Sgt Rock a little and give you a list that deals with the Rock in terms of important issues to his mythos. 

1st off, let us cover the often muddied 1st appearances.


As you can see by labels, the ordering leads to Our Army at War #83 as 1st True Sgt. Rock Appearance. Is it? Or is this another case of following the crowd and what someone wrote down years ago. Let's have a look.


G. I. Combat #68

January 1959

Labeled as a "Sgt. Rock Prototype", here we get a 13 page story of a man who doesn't stay down, sure he is beaten and knocked down, but he ALWAYS gets up. And is always referred to as "The Rock!" An Origin of a soldier referred to as "The Rock" who was a boxer prior to being a soldier fighting Nazis in the story.

Should this story be relabeled as "The 1st unnamed appearance and Origin of Sgt. Rock?" What seperates this story from the typical Rock story is the Name is "the Rock" instead of Sgt. Rock, his real name is never given, and his steel pot bears no rank! So should this be the 1st Unnamed Appearance of "The Rock" or Private Rock? To me this story is a fleshing out of a character and a story to sniff out the reception by the readers. 


Labeled as a "Last Sgt. Rock Prototype", this time we get a 6 page story featuring Sgt Rock and Easy Company battling Iron Captain. Which interesting enough, some call Our Army at War #158 "the 1st Appearance of Iron Major", a major arch nemesis of Sgt Rock. Do these people not know how military rank works? The Iron Captain is the same as The Iron Major, just like Pvt Rock is the same as Sgt Rock. Just a little further along in their career. Guess what, it's the same person.  

Another argument I have heard from this issue is that this isn't the True Easy Company. Because they are referred to in the above panel as East Company. So this panel negates the one below and the other 5 times in the story that they are called "Easy Company". Guess what, they are E Company. They could be called Echo Company, Elephant Company, East Company. It is all the same, "E" Company!

Yet another argument for the prototype designation is that in the previous story he was a boxer and in this one he was a steel worker. Guess what, boxers have other jobs. Joe Frazier was an employee at a slaughterhouse and inspired the scene in Rocky where Sly is punching slabs of meat.

So does this issue raise the question, "is this a prototype?" To me, it is the "2nd appearance of Sgt Rock."


With this one the label is "Character Named Sgt. Rock Appears in Easy Company Story." Isn't that what happened in the last issue? Anyways, we get a 6 page story in this issue. Featuring two soldiers that are fatigued and "holding up Easy Company" with Sgt Rock barking at them to keep up. 

There isn't much substance in this story as far as Sgt. Rock's character. If this would have been the 1st story with Sgt. Rock in it, I would call this a prototype, as he is just a character in the story and not the featured character. But being the 3rd story, and taking place after 2 prominent stories featuring Sgt. Rock, i would just call this another appearance. So I agree with the CGC label.


This one is labelled as the 1st True Sgt Rock Appearance. I'm not so sure. Here we get an 11 page story describing how Sgt Rock is the Rock of Easy Company. Remember "the Rock" from G.I. Combat #68? This panel pretty much confirms that is the same character. Just ranked up a lot as a 1st Sgt. 

Some also claim this to be the 1st cover appearance of Sgt. Rock, but I believe that to be Joe Wall from the story.


How I Feel These Books should be labeled:

G.I. Combat #68- 1st Unnamed Appearance and Origin of Sgt. Rock 

Our Army At War #81- 1st Full Appearance of Sgt. Rock as a Sergeant. 1st Full Appearance of Iron Major as Iron Captain.

Our Army At War #82- 2nd Appearance of Sgt Rock.

Our Army At War #83- 1st Appearance of Sgt Rock as a Company 1st Sgt.

As always Thank You for dropping in and please drop a comment. ( I need a few content ideas!)

               


               

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5 comments

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    Now this was a pure joy to read!!! this was my first comics growing up. My grandpa bought me a box of comics from a local auction, all it was gi combat war stoies and some war pulps. sadly I don’t have any of em. but Memoeries of reading those comics, my favorite was the haunted tank. Thank You and Merry Christmas

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    Makes sense to me. Should always be about using common sense based on the story in the comic. Not making things up for personal preference. Wasn’t OAAW 81 one considered his actual 1st appearance?

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    This used to be conventional wisdom, then DC war experts took a closer look and revised their thinking. There’s a lot of deeper, more involved scholarship on this already out there, in Overstreet among other places.

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    Hello! Nice to see the war genre getting some attention. Some of the best stuff DC has ever put out in their long history. I concur with the above post. If you haven’t already check out Chris Pedrin’s Big Five Information Guide 1994-95, an invaluable publication for Big Five war enthusiasts.

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