Today is the Marine Corps Birthday (for those who don’t know) and tomorrow is Veterans’ Day, which is why tonight you’ll probably be able to find me face down on the floor at the NoVa Irish Brogue and tomorrow at an elementary school lecturing children about the importance of supporting our troops. Wait, change that: face UP. I learned my lesson last year.
Given the prevalence of the military in society, it’s interesting how few DC comic heroes have any military background. Captain Atom is Air Force, of course, but other than that it’s slim pickings. Remember, this whole “Hal Jordan was in the Air Force” thing is a retcon (by Mark Waid, I think, in JLA: Year One); before that, Hal was “just” a commercial test pilot (and one who almost never flew a plane, I might add). So, too, the “John Stewart was in the Marines” thing (an invention of the Justice League animated series). Before her reboot after Crisis, in fact, the only big DC hero with any military background was Wonder Wonder. She was a Lieutenant (and eventually rose to Major). And then, as I recall, she did what a lot of former Army Majors do: became a UN attache and opened a mod dress shop. Diana’s a hard woman to understand.
DC used to have lots of war comics, and I’m glad to see them attempting to revive the tradition in the New 52 with Men of War. While they are at, I would like to see them bring back (in some form), one of favorites here at the Absorbascon: Capt. Storm.
Now, I’ve had a lot of fun at Capt. Storm’s expense, but conceptually he’s one of DC’s greatest heroes: a military man, injured in battle, who struggles to return to fighting strength so he can continue to defend his country. Plus, there’s the whole “hot Hawaiian nurse” thing. I think it’s great that Sgt. Rock/Easy Company’s legacy continue, but, given how many Wounded Warriors the US has as a result of years of conflict in the middle east, we need a “wounded warrior hero” more than ever. And I’m not talking about “I lost my hand, but now I have one made out of energy/water/indestructible alien metal that can turn into a machine gun”. I’m talking about, “my artificial leg is not as good as my real one but I’m going to overcome that”.
Because that’s a type of heroism I think comics could use a little more of.