Now this was a perplexing release. Back in September 2005, DC solicited this digest-sized collection of Sgt.Rock tales, and I got so excited that this might be the beginning of a whole other line of digest titles, reprinting the metric ton of classic material they have in their archives.
September came and went, no Sgt. Rock. October, November, December...nothing. I asked the swell folks at my local store if they'd heard anything, and they hadn't. This book was in some sort of limbo, a Phantom Zone if you will.
I had all but forgotten about it then, while I was in another comic store up in North Jersey, there it was! I snapped it up, but thought this was a funny way to run a railroad. I mean...how hard could this book have been to put out on time? It's reprints of Sgt.Rock comics, not Watchmen.
Anyway, once I got the book the questions continued. The stories included are:
"The Rock" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert
"The D.I. and the Sand Fleas!" by Kanigher and Kubert
"The Rock and the Wall!" by Kanigher and Kubert
"Laughter on Snakehead Hill!" by Kanigher and Irv Novick
"Gun Jockey!" by Kanigher and Novick
"Calling Easy Co.!" by Kanigher and Kubert
"The Hard Way" by Kanigher and Jerry Grandinetti
"Silent Fish" by Kanigher and Russ Heath
"No Shot From Easy" by Kanigher and Grandinetti
"3 Stripes Hill!" by Kanigher and Kubert
DC put a "1" on the spine of the book, indicating this was to be the first of (hopefully) more volumes. Obviously this didn't sell well enough to continue(gee, I wonder why), but the choice of material seemed odd to me.
Unless they were planning on reprinting Rock stories in order ala the Archives series, why go for this early material when Kanigher and Kubert were just finding their creative footing on the character? Why not go through the back issues and pick the cream of the crop? Hit the ground running, and maybe you'd have stirred up enough interest in future volumes? As it stands, this is not a bad book, but hardly the home run it could've been.
Easy Company deserves better.