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The EC Archives: Two-Fisted Tales, Vol. 1 (The EC Archives)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Writer-artist-editor Harvey Kurtzman teamed with legendary artists Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, John Severin, Will Elder, and Dave Berg to create these powerful stories of struggle and humanity that are considered to be among the best war stories ever told. Volume 1 volume reprints the first six complete issues (24 stories) of the comic book Two-Fist ...more
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published 2007 by Gemstone Publishing
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Geoff Sebesta
Jan 10, 2014 Geoff Sebesta rated it it was amazing
My problem with EC stories is that they so rarely have a point. You're given characters, then something unpleasant and vaguely dramatically fitting happens to them, then the story's over. Okay. They're all cautionary tales for things that I wasn't going to do anyway. Don't throw somebody in a giant vat of boiling wax for the insurance money; thanks, EC!

But with war stories this works great. The moral compass of the universe is all askew in War, and people live and die for no reason or to prove t
El Chango Borracho
Mar 30, 2008 El Chango Borracho rated it really liked it
A rag-tag bullpen of young artists came together in 1950/51 under the umbrella of William Gaines' struggling, newly restructured EC Comics line to help him launch a new series of comic book titles. Gaines's father had passed away and left him the EC publishing company (previously publishing illustrated stories from the bible), and Gaines decided to make a go of it along with editor Al Fieldstein, albeit with a fresh approach to the established comic book genres. Over the next five years, Gaines, ...more
Russell Grant
Jul 29, 2011 Russell Grant rated it it was amazing
"What does the future mean when everything you love is dead, my son?"

Forget Nick Fury and Sgt, Rock... THIS is what war comics should be! The first few stories are pretty generic, but by issue two, things get kicking and you get comics that are absolutely as relevant today as they were in fifties. A bunch of these take place during the then current Korean war, and based on the reprinted letters from the soldiers, EC was dead on in its depiction.

Sadly, Two-Fisted Tales gets largely overlooked com
Eric Skillman
Aug 20, 2007 Eric Skillman added it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves comics
Thank god all these EC classics are finally available in new editions! They're all interesting historically, and a lot of them are pretty great stories, too. But for my money the best volume thus far is this first book of Kurtzman-edited war stories. "Edited" is, of course, damning Kurtzman's contribution with faint praise—he wrote and laid out every single story. It's thrilling to watch Kurtzman invent new storytelling techiques in these stories, but they're more than just historical curiositie ...more
Kristen Northrup
The two main reasons to read this are Harvey Kurtzman and the historical context. Publishing during the Korean War, the creators were careful to depict war accurately, rather than the romanticized propaganda of the WWII comics. I used to skip over the one-page prose stories as a kid and discover they're just as unreadable now. I understand why they modernized the colors, and that most audiences will prefer that look, but I found it distracting. Confusingly, these books all have the Comics Code s ...more
Brady Bonney
Dec 15, 2008 Brady Bonney rated it it was amazing
I initially started buying the EC archives out of nostalgia. I wasn't around before the comic code, but I fondly remember sneaking the reprints into summer camp, and passing them from cabin to cabin. When the first volume came out I parted ways with the price on the jacket, thinking, "Man, this is cool."

Really the EC Archives are more than just nostalgia reprints. They can not ground down to just cool.

Specifically the war stories are well thought out, and by no means the he-man adventure they s
Dec 06, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing
Brilliant stuff.

Starts as historical adventure stories and slowly evolved into all war stories, focusing mostly on WW2 and the Korean war.
Gritty, cool blood, sweat and bullet stories of adventure with just enough history involved to get kids interested and maybe get them to read more about actual history.

I was never a fan of EC comics horror titles, but loved all the historical adventure stuff.
Kyle Burley
May 25, 2014 Kyle Burley rated it liked it
A mixed bag. Kurtzman's war stories are as remarkable and groundbreaking as ever. Certainly they address the dehumanizing reality of war far better than most films or TV of the day. No empty headed jingoism here!
That being said, many of the other stories included here are dumb, badly dated he-man style adventures with all of their period misogyny and racism intact.
The art, especially that of Wally Wood, John Severin and Kurtzman himself is, for the most part, excellent.
Mar 27, 2012 Doyle rated it it was ok
Shelves: war-comics
The post-issue behind the scenes page after each issue of this volume is not as informative as some other volumes of the EC Archives. This volume also features probably the single most racist EC story I've ever read from a company that was usually way ahead of their time.
Edwin Vazquez
Nov 05, 2008 Edwin Vazquez rated it it was amazing
An ultimate in comic storytelling, art and heart. Harvey Kurtzman makes magic that is seen & felt in the page.

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Other Books in the Series

The EC Archives (1 - 10 of 24 books)
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  • The EC Archives: The Haunt of Fear Volume 2
  • The EC Archives: Shock SuspenStories, Vol. 1
  • The EC Archives: Shock SuspenStories, Vol. 2
  • The EC Archives: Shock Suspenstories Volume 3
  • The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 1
  • The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 2
  • The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 3

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