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Super Star Holiday Special
"The Longest Night!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND Spring, 1980

Created & Written By: Robert Kanigher
Art By: Dick Ayers & Romeo Tanghal
Lettered By: Ben Oda
Colored By: Tajana Wood
Edited By: Len Wein

He's Rock... Sergeant... Easy Company! Easy had been on the line so long they didn't know what the date was! The relentless combat was just another letter of the alphabet! K -- for K-Rations... or for Killing...

Easy Company was heading to Santa Maria to knock out the enemy before they could stop the Patton tanks -- which were a day behind them! Bulldozer wonders how Rock will be able to find Santa Maria in the dark, and the Sergeant shows him the radium-compass that the skipper gave him! TZIIIIING BUDDABUDA --BUDDA --

THUUUUD! The compass is kaput, thanks to a sniper, who is now also out of work! Now it is Wildman who asks Rock how he's going to find Santa Maria in the dark! The Sergeant tells Easy that they'll navigate by that star -- which he has never seen one so bright! Rock figures that it must be the north star, and as long as he keeps it behind them, east is on their right -- and that's where Santa Maria will be! Easy lifts up their sox -- the war's this way!

Easy Company takes their safeties off, as something funny comes up on their left flank! It is a sister and some townspeople who are heading to the shrine at Santa Maria to pray for a miracle -- as their people have done for the past eight hundred years! Rock tells her that they had better wait until the war is over for their miracle! The enemy is in Santa Maria, and they'll zero in on the candles being used to light their way -- and kill them! Santa Maria awaits them, and they will not keep her waiting! They would willingly die if it is God's will that they do, and it could not happen on a better evening! If they survive to reach the shrine at Santa Maria, they will pray for the Sergeant and his men!

Easy double-times it, as Rock and his men have to take out the town before the paisans reach it -- or else it will be a massacre! With their candles, the townspeople are walking targets, but as long as the star continues to shine -- Easy Company is heading in the right direction! The star has led them to Santa Maria, where Sgt. Rock takes point, and Bulldozer has Easy follow him in a skirmish line, with no bunching up! The large soldier tells Rock not to press his luck and to take it easy, but the Sergeant knows all too well that nothing's ever easy in Easy! Clouds gather to blanket the star, making it easier for Rock to sneak into town!

Santa Maria looks more like a graveyard than a town! Rock's combat-antenna begins to buzz, and he sees that he's in someone's sights! The enemy soldiers are in the bakery -- and it's not bread they're serving! WHRAMM A thrown grenade takes out the enemy nest! BUDA BUDDABUDDA He sees something moving in the cellar!

It's a kid and the Sergeant asks the bambino what he's doing there! His name is Mario Rosetti, and his parents had hid him there -- before they were shot! Everyone in town has been shot, and he is alone now! He tells the boy to get out quickly, and that he'll find his people down the road to take care of him! When told that the townspeople are coming to Santa Maria for a miracle, Mario tells Rock that there's no miracle... only death! The Sergeant tells the boy that miracles do happen... you just have to pray hard enough! Mario asks Rock if prayer will bring back his parents? He is sorry that he can't help him there! The boy refuses to leave town and follows him!

For the boy's sake, he must shake off the bambino, but it shouldn't be too hard! He's been outrunning hot lead a lot lately! Turning a corner, Rock runs into Mario, who used a shortcut! He asks the Sergeant for a cigarette, and Rock tells him that he's too young to smoke... besides, does he want to grow up and become a midget? The Sergeant gives the boy some chocolate, which Mario figures is just for kids! BAMMMM An enemy 88 -- the Widow-Maker fires off an artillery shell, just as Rock and Mario dive for cover!

Rock tells the boy to keep his head down -- and to pray for a miracle, which even Mario has a tough time believing in! The Sergeant figures that the enemy must have spotted Easy Company with night-goggles, and will shoot them down... and the paisans coming behind them! VIP VIP Rock is winged, just as he throws a grenade... K-RAAAAAAAM The Widow-Maker is out of commission, along with several enemy soldiers... and Rock figures that Easy can walk in safety now... and the paisans can pray at their shrine! Mario sees what's left of the shrine... the statue which was the shrine of Santa Maria was blown up by the grenade! The Sergeant hadn't known of this -- and wonders what he can tell them...

There was nothing he could do... but sit and wait ... and watch... The townspeople have arrived and have prayed for a miracle... while their candles have gone out in the darkness! The boy sees no shrine... no miracle in Santa Maria... no sign of hope... only the dark! Just then, the entire sky -- begins to blaze like a giant candle... and even Mario must admit that this is a miracle! The sister tells the bambino that the miracle is not in Santa Maria, but in the sky! There is the star of Bethlehem -- the Christmas Star! It is a shining beacon in their time of darkness! Faith has no need of a shrine! Their very hearts are their shrines -- and their love can light up the world!

K -- for K-Rations! Or Kanigher and Kubert...

Sgt Rock of Easy Company was created by Robert Kanigher.

Dick Ayers is also known for his work on another Sergeant... Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos at Marvel Comics.

Romeo Tanghal is well-known for his inking on Teen Titans, by Wolfman and Perez.

Ben Oda was a legendary letterer among letterers at D.C.

Tatjana Wood has colored many books for D.C., as well.

Editor Len Wein has also written stories for D.C. and Marvel.

Other members of Easy Company include: Wildman, Bulldozer, Ice Cream Soldier, Little Sure-Shot, and Jackie Johnson.

While some super-heroes like Spider-Man have their spider-sense, Sgt. Rock has his combat antenna, which warns him of danger on the frontlines.

Steve Chung "The Longest Review!"