Junior Juniper

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Junior Juniper
Juniper Junior Howling Commandos 1.jpg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos vol. 1 #1
(May 1963)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Jonathan Juniper
Team affiliations Howling Commandos

Jonathan "Junior" Juniper is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, his first appearance was in Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos vol. 1 #1.[1] He is known to be the first major character to find death in a Marvel comic and the only Howling Commando ever to die in battle.[2][3][4]

Publication history[edit]

Jonathan "Junior" Juniper appears in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos vol. 1 #1-4. In the fourth issue, he was killed.[5] The death of Junior Juniper has haunted Nick Fury all the way up to modern day stories.[6] In the same series, the character appears also in two flashbacks in "The origin of the Howlers!" issue #34 (September 1966) and in "The Howlers' first mission!" issue #44 (July 1967).

In What If? #14 (April 1979), an alternate version of the character appears in What If... Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Had Fought World War II In Outer Space?.

The character has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960's Handbook (2006) and one in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z HC vol. 6 (2008).

A second alternate version of the character appears in X-Men Forever vol. 2 #7 (November 2009).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Jonathan "Junior" Juniper was a founding member of the original Howling Commandos and fought alongside the team during World War II.[7][8] He was the youngest on the team as he was still attending an unnamed Ivy League college before he enlisted in the Air Force. Juniper was later transferred from the Air Force to the Commandos because he had flown B-17 Flying Fortress in bombing raids as a tail gunner.[9][10]

Juniper saves the group on its first mission. The group was surrounded by Nazis. As they were waiting in the snow, Juniper read the Biblical story of Gideon frightening his enemy with raucous noise. The commando stole a sound trunk and used its loudspeakers to frighten the Nazis with their cries. With this mission, the group earns the nickname "Howling Commandos"[10][11]

With the Howling Commandos, Juniper participated at a rescue mission of the leader of the French Resistance who knows when D-Day is scheduled.[7][8] In another mission, the Howling Commandos invaded a French coast town to create a diversion while the Allied navy destroyed the German U-boat pens. After, they are reassigned on a mission to destroy a German atomic energy research facility. In the process, they also end up liberating a concentration camp.[12][13]

Nick Fury had a relation with Pamela Hawley, a British countess. During a rescue mission to bring back Percy Hawley known as Lord Ha-Ha, her brother and Nazi sympathizer, Junior was killed.[4][5][14] Fury put the blame for Juniper's death on himself, thinking he did not push the Commandos enough. Fury decided to deepen their training until they become the toughest, most dangerous squad in the war.[15][16] A few missions later, the British soldier, Percival Pinkerton, replaced Juniper in the team.[14][17][18] Jonathan Juniper was the grand-uncle of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Roger Juniper.[19][20]

Abilities and accessories[edit]

Junior Juniper was a trained commando and an ace tailgunner on a B-17. He is proficient with a knife, grenade, dynamite, and Thompson Submachine gun M1.[10]

Death impact[edit]

Jonathan "Junior" Juniper was killed in action after a few issues of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. As the magazine Jack Kirby Collector wrote in 1999, "Today that's no big deal but in 1963, comics heroes simply didn't die; not permanently, anyway. Suddenly, with the death of 'Junior' Juniper, the series acquired some real cachet. It now played like a true-life war drama where people got killed and never came back. You wondered who would be next."[3]

This question is clearly written in the comic book when the Howling Commandos react to the death of their youngest member. The character Dino Manelli said "Which of us will be next?" and his team-mate Izzy Cohen answered "What's the diff? We're all expendable."[4][5] Paul Brian McCoy reviewed this issue for Comics Bulletin and considers it as the "best thing Marvel's publishing in 1963." The story "Lord Ha-Ha's Last Laugh!" mixes emotional complexity, action and adventure. This is the first time a main character has actually died in a Marvel Comic.[4] As the comic writer and editor Tom DeFalco told it in an interview, some of the early Marvel fans were startled by the death of "Junior" Juniper.[21]

Alternate versions[edit]

What if?[edit]

An alternate version of the character appears in "What If... Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Had Fought World War II In Outer Space?", What If? #14 (April 1979). In this reality, the space is divided into the alpha and the beta sectors as the earth was divided into eastern and western fronts during the World War II. Junior Juniper is a member of the Howling Commandos of this reality. They are soldiers of the alpha sector and they received orders from a command computer. Their first mission is to protect the earth station midway against the betans. At the beginning of the attack, their objective was changed, they had to capture a traitor, the Baron Strucker. The villain died into space and the mission was a success.[22]

X-Men Forever[edit]

A second alternate version of the character appears in "The Fury of the Howling Commandos", X-Men Forever vol. 2 #7 (November 2009). During a S.H.I.E.L.D. investigation in South America, the agent Tommy Juniper is killed. Learning this, the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury thought "Not another Juniper. Not again!". Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, Rogue, Beast and Nightcrawler join Nick Fury on a second investigation in the South American jungle. The events remembered him another mission with Jonathan Juniper who is the grand-uncle of Tommy, the rest of the Howling Commandos and a Canadian soldier named Logan.[23][24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heritage Comics and Comic Art Auction #7027. Heritage Capital Corporation. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-59967-501-5. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ Comics & Comic Art. Heritage Capital Corporation. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-59967-528-2. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Alexander, Mark. "Wah-Hoo!! Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos", Jack Kirby Collector #24 (April 1999)
  4. ^ a b c d McCoy, Paul Brian. "Mondo Marvel #19 - November 1963". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Bell, George (i). "Lord Ha Ha's Last Laugh" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 4 (November 1963), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Jonathan "Junior" Juniper at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  7. ^ a b Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Ayers, Dick (i). "Seven Against The Nazis" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 1 (May 1963), Marvel Comics
  8. ^ a b McCoy, Paul Brian. "Mondo Marvel #12 - May 1963". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ Thomas, Roy (w), Ayers, Dick (p), Tartaglione, John (i). "The origin of the Howlers!" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 34 (September 1966), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ a b c "Junior Juniper". Marvel Legacy: The 1960's Handbook. New York: Marvel Publishing Group. 2006. p. 32. 
  11. ^ Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas (w), John Severin (p), John Severin (i). "The Howlers' first mission!" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 44 (July 1967), Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Ayers, Dick (i). "Seven Doomed Men!" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 2 (July 1963), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ McCoy, Paul Brian. "Mondo Marvel #14 - July 1963". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Booker, M. Keith (2010). Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-313-35746-6. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Roussos, George (i). "At The Mercy of Baron Strucker!" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 5 (January 1964), Marvel Comics
  16. ^ McCoy, Paul Brian. "Mondo Marvel #21 - January 1964". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  17. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Ayers, Dick (p), Roussos, George (i). "The Death Ray of Dr. Zemo!" Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 8 (July 1964), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ McCoy, Paul Brian. "Mondo Marvel #27 - July 1964". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  19. ^ Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz (w), Ron Frenz (p), Patrick Olliffe (i). "Cry Havok!" Hercules and the Heart of Chaos 2 (September 1997), Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Roger "Buddy" Juniper at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  21. ^ "TGIF: Dearly Departed". Marvel.com. December 5, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  22. ^ Don Glut, Gary Friedrich (w), Herb Trimpe (p), Pablo Marcos (i). "What If... Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Had Fought World War II In Outer Space?" What If? 14 (April 1979), Marvel Comics
  23. ^ Chris Claremont (w), Tom Grummett, Steve Scott (p), Al Vey (i), Lee Loughridge (col). "The Fury of the Howling Commandos" X-Men Forever v2, 7 (November 2009), Marvel Comics
  24. ^ CBR Team (September 3, 2009). "Preview: X-Men Forever #7". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  25. ^ Matthew Fantaci (September 8, 2009). "Review: X-Men Forever #7". Comic Bulletin. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 

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