Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Most Innovative Tank-Destroying Technique Ever!

"I Kid You Not" proves that being obese can make you an effective secret weapon while fighting the Nazis.

The story, written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Joe Kubert, appeared in Our Army at War #238 (November 1971). Sgt. Rock and his men are out on patrol when they are joined by a new guy named Horace Smith, who is nicknamed "Heavy" for rather obvious reasons. Heavy, we discover, has always felt like an outsider because of his size.

But he proves remarkably useful. Rock takes his men across a river, which proves to be deeper than it looks. So when they come under machine gun first from a farm house on the opposite shore, they seem to be sitting ducks.

Fortunately, Heavy is also very buoyant. The others are able to use him as a make-shift raft, allowing them to put down some suppressing fire as they finish crossing the river.

This, though, still leaves them pinned down, unable to peek over a ridge of earth at the river's edge without getting shot. But, hey, maybe...just maybe... Heavy might be useful in this situation as well.

Well, by now, Rock has gotten the point. After the farmhouse is captured, a working radio is found in the basement. This, Heavy's buoyancy and one of the other soldier's ability to speak German gives Rock an idea worthy of Mission Impossible.

A call is put out to the Germans, asking for some tanks to drive off an American attack. When the tanks arrived, they are told to follow Heavy (now wearing an ill-fitting German uniform) across the river. He'll guide them through the shallow area. Sure, he will.

The panel that follows is a wonderfully entertaining image. Kubert's art had a rawness and power to it that made him perfect for war comics and Tarzan stories, but its nice to get a reminder that he had a humorous side.

Heavy, by now, has earned his place in the squad. For the first time in his life, he's just one of the gang. It's a nice ending for a war story that manages to insert legitimately sweet and/or funny moments amidst all the violence.

So there you have it. If you're carrying a little too much weight, don't worry about it. You don't need Weight Watchers or Nutra-Slim or any of that nonsense. Instead, you should be out bringing fascism to its knees. Get to it.

Next week, we pay one last visit to the Shogun Warriors.

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