Today we are going to take a look at the first appearances of SGT Rock, Mlle. Marie and the Haunted Tank. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dig right into these big DC War keys.
Our Army at War #83 is accepted as the first appearance of SGT Frank Rock. I say accepted because there were several Rock prototypes in 1959, so there was some debate about the true first appearance. These appeared in G.I. Combat #68, Our Army at War #81, and also in #82. On a personal note, Rock was really my first love in comics. I subscribed to his title in the early 1980s. When I found those issues, still in the brown paper wrapper they were mailed in (despite numerous readings by me), in the 2000s, I sold them on eBay as a lot. It seems my interest in comics as an adult was fired up almost instantly after selling those issues. (Sigh).
The Rock of Easy
OAAW #83 has GoCollect FMV of $1950 in 4.0. These don’t sell very often and a quick glance at the FMV table reveals this. Both the 4.5 and the 5.0 show an FMV of $2600. Heritage Auctions sold a 7.0 for $14,400 in January 2021, so this book can command big money. I have a copy of OAAW #84 in low grade. This represents the 2nd appearance of Rock. I am currently waiting for the book to come back from CGC.
Introducing Mlle. Marie
1959 was a banner year for DC War characters. Shortly after Rock’s first appearance in June, DC did it again by introducing Mlle. Marie that August in Star Spangled War Stories #84. Marie is a fighter in the French resistance and her character was based on several real-life women who were part of the resistance. She crosses paths with SGT Rock and also with a British SAS agent (and future butler) named Alfred Pennyworth. The product of that union is Julia Pennyworth, whom I speculated might take over the mantle of her late father in serving Batman. (I was wrong).
SSWS #84 has a GoCollect FMV of $500 in 4.0, though the last sale was a year ago. There are fewer than 100 copies in the CGC census.
Ghosts and the Modern Tank Crew
The Haunted Tank rolled across the nine-panel page for the first time in May of 1961 in G.I. Combat #87. The story follows a tank crew (of an M3 Stuart light tank – named for Confederate general Jeb Stuart). The tank is “haunted” by the spirit of the long-dead cavalry commander who communes with the tank commander, Lt. Jeb Stuart. The rest of the four-man crew cannot see or hear the ghost, however, so they are left thinking that their leader is crazy. The tank and its crew are a fan favorite. Time will tell if the link to a Confederate general will hurt the value of this book.
GoCollect has a 5.0 FMV of $425, which has been remarkably consistent for years. I am curious to know your thoughts on The Haunted Tank. Is this a book to avoid? The latest Overstreet Guide ranks it as the #3 War Book behind only OAAW #83 and SGT Fury #1 (what, a Marvel entry?).
That’s all for now, let me know your thoughts and if you’d like more about collectible War Comics. Good luck out there!