Haney vs. Kanigher! And This One's For All The Marbles!
Over the past year or so here on the ISB, I've given a lot of time over to discussing the ridiculously awesome works of Bob Haney and Robert Kanigher.
Haney, of course, is the creator of Metamorpho (who once fought a two-foot tall world-conquering cyclops from space with the aid of a laser guitar) and the Silver Age Teen Titans (who battled the inimitable Ding Dong Daddy Dowd), along with several issues of Brave and the Bold that didn't make a whole lot of sense.
Kanigher, on the other hand, has written pretty much everything up to and including DC's romance titles and a run on Wonder Woman that included villains like Egg Fu, but around here, he's mostly known as the creator of Sgt. Rock, The Haunted Tank, and of course, the unstoppably awesome Metal Men.
So with all that, it begs the question as to Just Which Bob is Crazier, and the ISB never backs down from a good ol' fashioned loon-fight.
For the answer, we turn to relatively neutral territory: 1991's Sgt. Rock #13, which, despite all appearances to the contrary, does not include the original Suicide Squad. Instead, it's got two stories by Kanigher and one by Haney, along with art from Joe Kubert, Ross Andru, and Russ Heath.
Admittedly, Sgt. Rock is Kanigher's home turf, but, well, there aren't a whole lot of Metamorpho issues laying around with Bob Haney backups in them, so that's how it's got to be for this Mind-Melting Battle of the Madmen!
With the opening story, Flytrap Hill, Kanigher doesn't really get as crazy as he did when, say, the Metal Men fought a giant, gurgling chemical monstrosity, but it does dabble in the realm of the logistically impossible--and the unthinkable.
The story revolves around Lonesome, a young kid assigned as a runner to carry Sgt. Rock's requested permission to retreat from Flytrap Hill. To be fair, though, the only reason Rock requests permission to retreat is that the combat-happy Joes of Easy Company won't stop following him when he tries to battle the entire German army by himself, and keep getting blasted with flamethrowers for their troubles.
Regardless, Lonesome, who appears to be about fourteen, is sent out with the orders and roughly two hundred pounds of equipment and high hopes of making friends with Rock and the rest of the Company. Unfortunately, as Kanigher always says, nothing's ever easy in Easy.
Said difficulties in this case are presented by the fact that three panels after leaving camp, Lonesome is shot, in turn, by an enemy sniper, a low-flying Messerschmitt, and a Tiger Tank. And he is also grievously bonked on the head.
Still, he perseveres, limping and crawling his way up to Rock with the sealed retreat orders, but his gutsy triumph inspires Rock and Easy Company to get up and beat the living hell out of the Nazis, rechristening the site of the battle as "Lonesome Hill" in his honor.
Let's go through that one more time, for those of you in back: in the span of six pages, Lonesome is shot non-fatally by a fighter plane and a tank.
Although to be fair, that sort of thing happens a lot around Sgt. Rock.
Haney, the ball's in your court.
Now this is what I'm talking about: Young Army Ski Trooper Davis finds himself facing down his old foe Hauser on the same mountain they competed on against each other as profesional skiers back before the war--except that now, Hauser, who utterly demolished him in competition, is now a scout for the Ratzis.
It's an utterly predictable story, but considering that it's got captions like "You claw your way thru a blizzard of slugs," it's oddly satisfying to see Davis and Hauser shoot down the mountain punching the bejeezus out of each other.
Mister Kanigher, your response?
You win this time, Kanigher.
For Those Of You So Inclined:
| Showcase Presents Metamorpho |
| Showcase Presents Teen Titans |
| Showcase Presents Haunted Tank |