Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Today, we see a classic example of repackaging gone right.
DC, over the years, had a number of characters who were featured in their various war anthologies.
Some of them hit it big, like the Haunted Tank and Sgt. Rock, some did not.
Three of the less popular series (one of whom had his own title, even!) were Johnny Cloud, Navajo Ace, Captain Storm and Gunner & Sarge.
However, in G.I. Combat, Robert Kanigher had an inspired idea – take all of these failed series, and put them all together into a TEAM! They made their first appearance in GI Combat #138, guest-starring with the Haunted Tank.
A special forces group made up of all these failed heroes – these “losers.”
And what better name than The Losers!!
Soon, they graduated into their own feature in Our Fighting Forces…
Finally, the guys clicked, and The Losers had a fairly substantial run for the rest of Our Fighting Forces’ timespan (I believe it was finally canceled around the same time as the DC Implosion).
Probably the most notable thing about the title were the covers. Joe Kubert clearly had a lot of fun with them, especially once the basic idea of the covers were established, an idea that would be repeated to almost absurdity during the series run, which would be that a character would comment that things were looking up, while the reader would see that things were actually looking very bad for the group.
A lot of “finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and seeing it is an oncoming train” stuff.
I think some great parodies could be made based on this basic concept.
Here is a sampling of some of my favorites…
The Vertigo series by the same name was good, too!
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