365 Reasons to Love Comics #152
Man, I really know how to not pick ‘em, huh? All anybody talked about in yesterday’s comments was Myspace, for cryin’ out loud. Oh well. You’ll all love today’s War Week entry! Why? One word: dinosaurs. And another word: archive.
152. The War That Time Forgot
Why, son, I remember the day when men were men and dinosaurs were dinosaurs! And there was this island, this… Dinosaur Island, where quite a few World War II soldiers got lost and ended up encountering beasts that walked the Earth before mankind. In fact, it was a key location in the battle between American and Japan. What, you don’t remember? I suppose that’s why time forgot it.
I’ll give you three guesses as to who created this concept.
Yep. Got it in one. Bob Kanigher. Along with artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, he brought us stories of the United States army battling against (and, occasionally, with) an army of dinosaurs, giant apes, and monsters, many of whom had cool nicknames like “The Sub Crusher!” and “The Tank Eater!”
(Stegosaurus vs. tank. Giant dinos exiting battleships. Men on skis, with uzis, fighting a dinosaur. Could this be the greatest comic book series of all time?)
The War That Time Forgot first debuted in Star Spangled War Stories #90, replacing the Mlle. Marie feature. It ran for about eight years before its run on the title ended. After that, it was used as a locale in many other titles before returning to the forefront in Weird War Tales (the series that gave us the Primate Patrol for a short period of time.
Over the years, many other DC war characters have ended up fighting battles on Dinosaur Island, most notably the Haunted Tank, the original Suicide Squad, G.I. Robots I and II, and the awesome Creature Commandos.
(“OH MY GOD that dinosaur is eating my tank/ship/gorilla!”)
The origin of Dinosaur Island has been speculated for years. There’s the “passage to Skartaris” theory that declares they arrived from Warlord’s realm. And I believe Darwyn Cooke re-introduced the place in New Frontier.
You know, they should really open it up to tourism. “Enjoy the beautiful mountain view, relax on our seemingly endless beaches, and try not to get eaten alive.”
(When it came to combining two of man’s favorite genres, Joe Kubert knew what was up.)
Luckily, DC is publishing things specifically for the blogosphere now, and there is a handy Showcase Presents volume of The War That Time Forgot. So if you always wished your WWII comics had just a smidgen more dinosaur action in them, or vice versa, then you should definitely buy it (heck, I’m not even getting a percentage out of this. At the rate I pimp comics, I should set up some kind of Amazon store).