Characters Appearing: Blarney Stone, Captain Savage, Chief Jay Little Bear, Dino Manelli, Dum Dum Dugan, Eric Koenig, Gabriel Jones, Jacques Larocque, Lee Baker, Nick Fury, Reb Ralston, Yaketty Yates
Capt. Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders #1
Issue(s): Capt. Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders #1
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the repeated use of the word "nip" to refer to the Japanese.
I once saw a stand-up comedian (i can't remember who) who had a riff on how if you as a white person tell jokes about Jewish people in front of your black friends or vice versa, it's not like your friends don't know that you also tell jokes about them when they're not around. I thought of this when all the white characters were calling the Japanese "nips" in front of Chief Jay Little Bear, but it turns out that it's not a problem for him.
Little Bear running around with a bow and arrow is outrageous. It's almost as weird as Gabe Jones and his trumpet, but i guess at least Little Bear is carrying an actual weapon, and it does repeatedly turn out to be very useful.
Little Bear had the potential to be a fairly nuanced character. He's not "just" the non-white member of the group with all the attendant stereotypes. Prior to the war he was a pro-wrestler, and he constantly (and i do mean constantly) gripes about how much money he's losing by giving up his career for the war. That's basically a one note character trait, but at least it's not specifically related to him being a Native American, and it's something that could develop into something more.
What's interesting is that all of the characters here are willing to talk about deserting.
1968, when this book was published, was a very different time politically than 1963 when Sgt. Fury began publication, and that's why we're seeing the characters being allowed to make at least minor complaints about having been drafted.
In addition to the general attitude, Captain Savage has a problem with Sgt. Sam 'Yaketty' Yates. Yates is not happy that Savage, a naval officer, has been put in charge of a group of Marines.
On the other end of the spectrum is Roy 'Blarney' Stone, who is loyal to a sickening fault.
Blarney and Savage have appeared before in the Sgt. Fury comic, although Savage had always been referred to as the "Skipper" prior to this.
Anyway, in this issue, the Raiders shoot a bunch of stuff and blow up an ammo depot.
Here's your Nick Fury cameo.
The Sgt. Fury series had the advantage of including several characters that had relevance to Marvel's modern day super-hero stories. Fury himself of course becomes the head of SHIELD, and several of the Howlers become SHIELD agents. Baron von Strucker was a regular villain of the series, and the book could also do things like show us an early incarnation of Baron Zemo or show how how Nick Fury lost his eye. This Captain Savage series didn't have quite the same opportunity, and this issue comes across as a generic war story that could easily have been told in Fury's book, with his characters. The next arc in Captain Savage, however, will make up for that by giving us the origin of Hydra.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Real world history and the chronology for Sgt. Fury (and, i guess, spin-offs) aren't necessarily always in sync, but this issue is said to take place on November 22, 1943, two days after the assault on Tarawa. The MCP place Fury and the Howlers here between Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos #50-51.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
This story takes place immediately after the Howlers' appearance in St. Fury and the Howling Commandos 49-50, which take place at the time of the battle of Tarawa. Izzy was captured in that story, which is why he's not present.
Posted by: Michael | December 10, 2015 8:07 PM
Sgt. Fury#33 has them helping out the Greek underground with another appearance by the Skipper, the Howlers are captured and taken to Germany, #34 has the origin of the Howlers with Nick and Red Hargrove at Pearl Harbor where Red dies, #35 Nick with McGiveney and Eric Koenig rescue the Howlers from Berlin, #36 has an appearance by Jason Sitwell, Jasper's father, #37 has them back in North Africa against the Afrika Korps again with help from the Arabs, Dino gets wounded in this one, #38 has the Howlers going in for revenge on Dino's behalf and introduces Jim Morita a Japanese-American soldier, #39 introduces Col Klaue, Strucker's replacement with the Blitzkreig Squad (and later revealed to be the father of Klaw, the Black Panther's foe), #40 has the Howlers helping the French Underground again with an appearance by Frenchie, #41 has a rematch with the Blitkreig Squad under the command of Col. Klaue, #42 has Fury and two others go AWOL for a good reason of course and McGiveney sent to bring them in, #43 the Howlers are again up against Rommel's Afrika Korps, they get captured, #44 is a flashback to the Howlers' first mission together with Junior Juniper appearing, #45 the Howlers escape and have to deal with a fellow prisoner who has gone mad to kill Nazis even if it endangers their escape, #46 does a story that focuses on combat medics, #47 and 48 has Col. Klaue and the Blitzkreig Squad in England again, #49 has the Howlers in the Pacific once more at Tarawa with another appe
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 17, 2016 8:55 PM
arance by the Skipper
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 17, 2016 9:01 PM
In Mike Conroy's "War Stories: A Graphic History" (a book I highly recommend, doubly so for fans of war comics and history buffs), I encountered a character published during the WW2 years by Marvel when they were still under the Timely/Atlas/USA Comics banner(s) who went by the not-so-subtle monicker of Jap-Buster Johnson. Johnson, whom I believe had the virtually unused given name of Everett but was later retconned as Doug, was a Navy lieutenant and fighter pilot driven by revenge over his best friend, sailor Dave Nichols,who was killed when Japanese bombers strafed the aircraft carrier they were both stationed on. Lt. Johnson was kinda like the "Punisher of the Pacific", taking on entire destroyer crews single-handedly, all the while spewing enogh slurs and perpetuating enough stereotypes to make Capt. Savage and his Raiders look like participants in a PC, Robert Bligh-style camping/bonding trip by comparison.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 4, 2017 10:31 PM
I wonder if comparisons were ever drawn between Capt. Savage and Captain Storm, the one-eyed, wooden-legged PT boat skipper turned "Loser" created by Bob Kanigher over at DC. Of course, with each man having a patch over the left eye, there's also the obvious physical comparison between Storm and the classic Nick Fury.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 13, 2017 12:04 AM
The tall, brawny Chief Jay Little Bear is like an inversion of the pint-sized Little Sure Shot, the scout and sniper in Sgt. Rock's Easy Co. who wore feathers in his helmet as a symbol of pride.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 17, 2017 12:24 PM
I haven't read the stories, but it seems Gary Friedrich had little knowledge of the Marines. Granted the talk of draft and desertion was meant for a home audience that was becoming increasingly critical of the Vietnam War, but it makes very little sense. Unlike the Army, the Marine Corps was an all volunteer force until almost 1943. That changed only because the government came to believe using solely the conscription process would be more efficient than handling both volunteers and conscription. But even after that change, the Marines worked with the draft boards so that only people who wanted to join the Marines would do so. So complaining about being drafted and talking about desertion, while not impossible, makes a lot less sense than characters in the Army. The Marines consider themselves to be an elite force and have a very unique and strong culture.
Also, there is a strangeness regarding Savage's rank. A Naval Captain (although not a Marine Captain) is equivalent to an Army colonel. Any "Skipper" of a submarine would have been a Captain. So if Savage was transferred to the Marines, he should have been ranked as a Colonel unless he got demoted. I'm sure all of this could easily be reconciled, but it's clear the writer didn't even know about this.
Posted by: Chris | October 17, 2017 3:14 PM
@Chris- Also, typically, a submarine captain (lower-case "C" for the job, not the rank) tends to hold the rank of Commander (O-5, equivalent of a lieutenant colonel in Army, Air Force or Marines), symbolized by a silver leaf, one below Captain (colonel), symbolized by a silver eagle. And then there's the question of a senior officer (which constitues anything from O-4 (major or lieutenant commander up) is doing commanding so small a unit. Yes, it's comics, but the hallmark of any good war comic has been a certain degree of authenticity, as opposed to the ambiguity offered here.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 17, 2017 3:44 PM
Well, Friedrich's war stories were often filtered through his biases and lack of knowledge. In one Howler story, he tried to do his own take on the court martial of Eddie Slovik. A new Howler panics and runs away during a firefight but returns to the Howlers. Nick says he has to report it up the chain of command and the guy is executed. The problem is the during World War II sergeants never had green troops court martialled for panicking on their first day and then returning- that happened all the time with green troops. Slovik was shot because he tried to game the system by getting convicted and sentenced to a short jail term so he didn't have to serve in combat and it blew up in his face.
Posted by: Michael | October 17, 2017 9:11 PM
Hope I'm not wearing out my welcome with yet another comment here, but I've been curious about Capt. Savage's beard. No branch of the U.S. military, then or presently, allows beards except for shaving waivers for medical reasons (skin condition or severe facial scarring) or, more recently, religious grounds (evidenced by news stories of Sikh American Army soldiers being allowed to wear full beards and turbans while on duty). Though mustaches are allowed, they are expected to meet certain length standards. Of course, crews of deployed submarines generally ignore these grooming standards, and Savage did have command of a sub. However, I'm sure some Navy and Marine brass would frown on the beard when on land and being so high-profile. I will add that when he held the position of Chief of Naval Operations from 1970-74, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, once commander of the "brown-water Navy" in Vietnam, instituted many progressive reforms, one of which was an allowance of beards that lasted until 1984 (Upon researching Zumwalt's reforms, often sent out in memos called "Z-Grams", I wonder what became of the beer-dispensing machines in the barracks, but I digress). Having not read the series, although I plan to track down some issues, I don't know if there was ever an explanation for the Captain's whiskers, though given Friedrich's lack of research and attention to detail in what I have seen, I would have my doubts.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 19, 2017 9:36 PM
Just a nitpick, Brian, special operations units do permit relaxed grooming standards and I'm sure they've done so for decades. If you're getting ready to infiltrate a civilian population and move around unnoticed, a beard, mustache and long hair gives you a better chance of passing.
None of this excuses Captain Savage by the way. Nick Fury's perpetual stubble is part of his 'look' and goes back at least as far as Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe," but Savage had to have spent months carefully working on that facial hair.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 19, 2017 10:59 PM
This comment thread is fantastic, my sincere thanks to our resident Military historians Brian Coffey, Chris, and Michael. I can remember an interview with Dick Ayers in which he said minor things on the Howling Commandos would pester him in regards to their historical accuracy but eventually he went with it after equating it with how soldiers would embellish small details in their recollections. I love these old War comics, inaccuracy and all. And I appreciate the educational comments you guys have shared.
Posted by: Wis | October 19, 2017 11:37 PM
With the exception of creators who actually served in the military, comics has tended to be terrible at getting the military right especially in regards to officer ranks and what they should command. Comics isn't the only medium where this can be awful - many TV shows and some movies also have this problem. The era of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its spin offs are also very bad (I cringe everytime Captains Picard or Sisko command both their ship and a fleet in general, Star Trek seems to have no understanding of what an Admiral's duties are). It is just bad writing to not understand the thing you are writing about.
Bad writers seem to think that rank somehow means combat excellence instead of a level of command, so they want their leads to be highly ranked but lead small groups of people (the show or comic starring cast). It's not like the few appearances of Captain Savage made him a huge attraction to headline a series, so a new character at the appropriate rank would have done just as well.
Granted comics then was a juvenile medium and its audience ignorant of such things, but it is still lazy. One reason for the high regard of Marvel's GI Joe comic, despite it being a toy spin off, was the relative realism because of Larry Hama's own experiences in the military in Vietnam.
Posted by: Chris | October 19, 2017 11:39 PM
Chris- all valid and excellent points and I in no way mean to play devil's advocate here, but I do think we should take into consideration that such things in the "Marvel Universe" would obviously be somewhat different. For one thing, they're already segregated at a time when our armed forces were not, besides the fact that the Howlers are consistently sent all over the Pacific Theater etc. with no regard for logic or logistics. But yes, I think they're just simplifying things for an intended juvenile audience, not that presenting it straight wouldn't also have worked.
Posted by: Wis | October 19, 2017 11:44 PM
@Wis- Glad you enjoyed this thread, also appreciate the contributions from Chris, Michael and ChrisW as well. I was one of those kids who used to thumb his nose at war comics, not being as "cool" as the spandex crowd. However, over the years I blossomed into a history buff, particularly military history, so I began to view them with greater appreciation. I'm intrigued by this particular series because I had relatives who served in the Pacific Theater (Two in the Navy, one in the Army during MacArthur's postwar occupation of Japan). I'm presently splitting time reading two books: One about pilots who flew "The Hump" (the supply run from India to China through the Himalayas), one about the oft-forgotten Aleutian Islands Campaign off the coast of Alaska and the Battle of Attu. For a comics perspective on warfare, I once again highly recommend "War Stories: A Graphic History" by Mike Conroy (foreword by Garth Ennis), which traces the comics medium coverage of warfare from ancient to modern times, and includes some now-quaint, then-incendiary WW1 propaganda posters and political cartoons. Again, enjoyed the comments and back-and-forth here, especially since this is a thread about such an obscure character!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 20, 2017 12:52 AM
Savage's beard is from an international sailor stereotype. Lex O'Malley from "Dan Dare" and Captain Haddock from "Tintin" had the same look.
Don Heck drew a submarine strip in the 1950s called "Torpedo Taylor". The book DON HECK: A WORK OF ART has portions of a interview conducted by Richard Howell in which Heck says Lee asked Joe Maneely, who had been in the navy, about the beard Heck gave the commander.(1) Maneely said they couldn't have them, but when he saw art he said, "Aw, it looks great. Leave it."
It could be when Dick Ayers designed the Skipper he just used the same stereotype, or it could be Lee told him to use that look thinking of "Torpedo Taylor".
"Captain Savage" was another recycled name. In the Golden Age it was the title of a Fox feature about a heroic merchant captain. In the 1950s Avon published a Korean War comic about a fighter pilot called Captain Steve Savage.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 20, 2017 1:51 AM
@Luke- At DC, the Savage name would be used again with the WW1 pilot Lt. Steve Savage, a.k.a. "The Balloon Buster", who would become a frequent opponent of Hans Von Hammer, the Enemy Ace.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 20, 2017 6:44 AM
Taken in isolation the reappearance of the name could be a coincidence, but there was a lot of recycling in the Silver Age.
Other names recycled by Marvel include Doctor Strange (from Pines/Standard's Doc Strange, a super-strong scientist), Black Bolt (from Novelty's Blue Bolt, whose feature Kirby worked on with Joe Simon), and Doctor Doom (there were several of those, including the title character of a Fox feature about an evil scientist. The villain of the Seven Soldiers story from Leading Comics #3 was named Dr Doome and had a time machine.)
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 20, 2017 8:47 AM
Brian, I will pick up Conroy's book due to your recommendation and endorsement of it. I'm actually quite interested in 40s-60s' obscure war heroes from the comics, so it sounds like a good afternoon read. Thanks!
Posted by: Wis | October 20, 2017 3:03 PM
I recently bought some old war comics. Most were DC, maybe a few Charltons or others, and I found them unreadable. Even when the art was nice, the stories were so far away from human experience, or even military experience, that I just flipped through the pages and tried to identify the artists. This isn't how battles are fought, much less campaigns or wars. I agree with Chris that Larry Hama's "G.I. Joe" was an awesome war comic for most of its run, particularly if you only knew the Joes from toys and cartoons where nobody gets shot.
Garth Ennis has a few compilations of war comics - titled "War Stories" or "Battlefields" - and those are some of the greatest comics ever. For mature readers only, mostly set in WWII, but those are comic book masterpieces.
Not like this, where the sheer logistics of putting Nick Fury in a sub in the Pacific boggles the mind. Doesn't he have a unit in Europe to look after? Did he ever have a commanding officer?
Posted by: ChrisW | October 20, 2017 8:04 PM
To a large extent I can understand that, ChrisW- maybe it's the subject matter that's significance is being (unintentionally) underminded, I don't know. By the same token, it's fantasy, it's comic books, and none of these comic books were intended for history professors, and I do not mean that comment with any degree of snark. I volunteer with Honor Guard and one Vet I met really liked comics- but he liked "Blackhawk" and "Sgt. Rock" and surely they also fall under the mind-boggling category. I guess it's all subjective.
Posted by: Wis | October 20, 2017 8:09 PM
Wow, if GI Joe (which was at least as much about ninjas and other at least mildly superhuman characters as it was about soldiers) is being praised for its realism then a lot of the other stuff being discussed here must have been crazily unrealistic.
Posted by: Stevie G | October 20, 2017 8:50 PM
There's also the charm of a good story regardless of genre or intent. Interesting characters in interesting situations where the audience wants them to succeed. "MASH" the tv series would be a good example of telling good stories without being realistic. One of the war comics I bought was the Blackhawk's "Origin of Chop-Chop" and it was a pretty good story, but it didn't interest me in Chop-Chop or the Blackhawks in general.
It's all fantasy, it's all comic books, whatever. The Hulk and Natasha were the only two characters in the first "Avengers" movie that I had any real knowledge of or interest in, but for all the awesomeness in the first movie, it was Captain America who made me a real fan. He's not just a soldier, he's an officer. He has to get useful information out of his subordinates ["does Loki need any particular kind of power source?" and coaxing Banner to say what he thinks] he has to make his subordinates obey [to Stark: "put on the suit, let's go a few rounds"] he has to look into those left behind [Coulson, and Stark's reaction to Coulson's death] he has to have a plan ready on the spot to fight Loki's army which gets changed when Banner shows up [ok, that was simple, add "Hulk, smash" to the plan] he addresses a hot leather-clad babe as "Ma'am" because she pilots the Quinjet and outranks him in SHIELD and straps on his own parachute, which is a total no-no for anybody who isn't Captain America.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 20, 2017 9:00 PM
Yes, Stevie, it was crazy. Very few G.I. Joes were above an E-5, and most of those were pilots or aircraft carrier commanders. 1LT Falcon is a Green Beret which is basically impossible. I always like to point out that they never had a supply sergeant. "Where did they get those wonderful toys?"
Posted by: ChrisW | October 20, 2017 9:08 PM
Perhaps Ennis or a like-minded scribe should give Savage and Co. a revamp. I enjoyed Ennis' take on the Phantom Eagle, which was played for trademark dark laughs and ditched the "mystery man" aspects of the character. And ChrisW, I'm with you on the Charlton war books, and split on the DC's. Some are pretty far-fetched in concept and/or execution, but I still have great fondness for Gravedigger and, most of all, Enemy Ace, who got a respectful treatment by Ennis in the two-part WAR IN HEAVEN (art on part two by the legendary Russ Heath). Despite my criticisms of this series, I do have on order a copy of issue #5, featuring a story where Savage and Co. head Down Under on the trail of a counterfeiter/Japanese sympathizer aiming to cripple the Australian monetary system. Great concept, not standard comics material, hopefully the story is executed well enough. I'm only out $5, so no biggie!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 20, 2017 9:20 PM
Good stories are good stories. It's all subjective, but we still look at what we think are good stories. DC's "Greatest 50s Stories Ever Told" had a Kanigher/Kubert "Sgt Rock" story that would still be awesome if it were brand new today, the FNG who proved he was Easy Company and died proving it.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 20, 2017 10:16 PM
I'm sure fnord never thought Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders were going to prompt such a discussion. But I'm quite glad it did.
I think- like with many other comics- the era of such comics should be considered, particularly where Golden and Silver Age material is concerned. This can go a long way towards one's appreciation or enjoyment of it. I actually just bought the EC Archives of "Aces High" tonight and I'm aware these were stories written in a certain era where the fighter pilot was a more romantic figure. It's all subjective, as ChrisW said.
Posted by: Wis | October 20, 2017 11:33 PM
Wis, my thoughts exactly. I can just imagine those who come to this site, looking at all the Recent Comments and seeing so many here, thinking "What the hell?" I can't believe I'm back YET AGAIN, but something occured to me: I'm a sucker for films based on Alistair Maclean novels; "The Guns of Navarone", "Where Eagles Dare", the Howard Hughes fave "Ice Station Zebra", even "Breakheart Pass". The first two I listed, while set during WW2, play more like high adventure tales with the war as a backdrop than straight war stories. I wonder if the creators on this book, Sgt. Fury, DC's the Losers, were influenced by the popularity of "Navarone" or Maclean's novels? For that matter, some of the author's body of work could be adapted to comics, like the "Navarone" series or the aforementioned "Where Eagles Dare".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 22, 2017 11:52 AM
well, I suppose we know Friedrich *wasn't*, as it was was well-documented (to the point of it being a sort of running joke) that Gary Friedrich was a pacifist and somewhat anti-war. I suppose that being such doesn't necessarily mean that you won't watch or appreciate war films or war novels but I would have to think it was doubtful. Obviously this didn't cause issues with his collaborators, since Ayers was a WWII veteran.
Posted by: Wis | October 22, 2017 2:03 PM
What a great and informative thread of comments! Thanks all around to everyone participating in it.
"The first thing that grabbed my attention was the repeated use of the word "nip" to refer to the Japanese."
As a kid I read this comic and most of the Sgt. Fury/Howlers series, devouring anything by Marvel, and noticed the repeated use of the word "kraut" to refer to the Germans. I asked my dad about it, who was a WW II U.S. Army captain working gasoline supply lines in Europe, and he said almost everyone in his company jokingly used ethnic slang/slurs/whatever, liberally for almost every ethnic group, yet hardly anyone ever seemed to take it personally, in his opinion. (I think he was mainly thinking of U.S. military personnel as being the ones not taking it personally.) There were many 2nd gen. ethnic groups in the Army, he said. Irish were called Micks, Italians were called Wops, French were called Frogs, and so on-- he had a list of them I can hardly remember and won't even try to repeat them all here. The impression he gave me was that this was quite common in his generation, even stateside. Nip is short for Nippon, which simply means Japan or Japanese, in French and/or Japanese both, if I'm not mistaken.
"Did he (Sgt. Nick Fury) ever have a commanding officer?"
IIRC, this was Captain "Happy Sam" Sawyer. A running joke in the series was that he never cracked a smile, and if he ever did so, it would probably crack his face.
Posted by: Holt | October 22, 2017 4:01 PM
"Gary Friedrich was a pacifist and somewhat anti-war. I suppose that being such doesn't necessarily mean that you won't watch or appreciate war films or war novels but I would have to think it was doubtful."
I think it was Clark Clifford, Presidential Advisor to Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson, and LBJ's 2nd Defense Secretary, who said that, by 1968, over half the U.S. population had turned against "the war." He was speaking about well-known statistics, and specifically referring to the Viet Nam Conflict, which was never a declared war. Many people I knew in the latter part of the Viet Nam Conflict era identified themselves as "pacifists" or "anti-war." This group of people had little in common with the group of self-identified "pacifists" prior to WW II, other than the pacifist and anti-war labels. Many war time novels, films, and TV shows about WW II were still very popular during this time period, and among this large group. Many in this group often drew very unfavorable contrasts between service in WW II and service during the Viet Nam Conflict. Many of them were Viet Nam veterans themselves. I had two brothers who served in the Army in Viet Nam, and both of them protested the Viet Nam Conflict after receiving honorable discharges. My WW II veteran father didn't protest the war, but many of his friends and contemporaries did.
I was never much of a fan of Gary Friedrich as a writer, but I will give him that much.
Posted by: Holt | October 22, 2017 4:26 PM
"Nip" is indeed short for Nippon/Nipponese, the Japanese term for their own country(back then, at least). It was a very common slur during WWII, especially showing up in Golden Age comics from Timely/Marvel and Fawcett.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 22, 2017 5:30 PM
The anti-war movement prior to World War II consisted of four different groups (a)people opposed to war in all circumstances, (b) Communist sympathizers who opposed the war after the Hitler Stalin pact but became interventionists after Hitler invaded the USSR, (c) Nazi sympathizers and (d) people who opposed World War II in particular for some reason (e.g. Irish that despised the British). The opposition to the Vietnam war included people from groups (a) and (b) as well as people who were opposed to the Vietnam War in particular. As I understand it Friedrich was in group (a) and once described his Sgt. Fury run as "the war mag for people who hate war mags".
Posted by: Michael | October 22, 2017 5:33 PM
Stevie G, my comments on the relative realism of GI Joe must be taken in its specific context. There were of course lots of ridiculous elements to GI Joe, primarily because it was based on a toyline but also because the team was super-elite. But within that premise, Hama grounded it as much as he could in reality. In comparison, the Leatherneck Raiders are a much less fantastic premise, but because of that obvious mistakes in basic things undermine it. Furthermore, certain characterization is more cartoonish than in Hama's GI Joe in my opinion. In GI Joe, the soldiers seemed more like real people, and people were wounded and even killed.
Suspension of disbelief requires acceptance of the original premise. The premise can be realistic or fantastic. It can even be ridiculous. But audiences will accept it if the story seems interesting. It's the little bits of unreality AFTER the premise that undermines credibility. This is why hack work is rejected.
The question of how much realism or detail is required is subjective. Small kids don't need any, because they lack sufficient knowledge to notice it. Then you have the realism of the general audience which knows some things, but lack detailed knowledge. And then you have people who have varying degrees of specialized knowledge. At some point, the details just becomes another form of pornography that serves no narrative purpose or even gets in the way of a good story. You want a balance.
Posted by: Chris | October 22, 2017 5:42 PM
More very interesting comments in a short period of time, wow. This might become one of the longest comments sections on the site if it isn't already.
Going a bit further off topic (again), I was just barely too young to be drafted in the Viet Nam Conflict era; when Nixon ended the draft, my Selective Service lottery number had already been drawn, and it was 2 digits (in the range of 1-366, based on birth date). Thus I was almost certain to be drafted, if we as a nation had not withdrawn. My mom was one of those who only opposed the Viet Nam Conflict in particular, which we might pigeonhole in Michael's list as group (e). Having already had two sons in the service, my mom was fully prepared to send me to Canada. I was really too young to have much of an informed opinion about it, but I probably would have volunteered as my brothers had already done, if Mom didn't just kill me first. One could hardly go to a restaurant or anywhere in public during that time period without hearing heated arguments about the "war," very often between members of the same family. It was a very divisive issue then, probably moreso than any I've seen since.
Posted by: Holt | October 22, 2017 6:15 PM
I agree regarding this comment thread. This has been an enjoyable and informative series of comments, and I am appreciating the heck out of it. I'm currently watching Ken Burn's Vietnam miniseries so am especially dialed in on this subject. My band is going on tour in a few months so I also intend to take the plunge and go and buy every issue of 'Captain Savage...' I can find on eBay for those long rides.
It's something we probably take for granted but it's really amazing how large the War genre loomed in children's entertainment and fiction for the longest time and how it's really not as prominent today, for a number of reasons.
Posted by: Wis | October 22, 2017 6:38 PM
Already on it, Wis! I'm being shipped issues #5 and #16. As I mentioned in a previous post( and of course they won't be covered here), #5 takes place in Australia, and #16 looks to take place in the Alaskan campaign. Talk about logistical nightmares! I know I'm cherry-picking issues, but at least from a geographical standpoint, I'll be covering Savage and the Raiders' adventures top to bottom (I know it's actually bottom to top, but you know what I mean).:-)
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 22, 2017 9:08 PM
Comments are now closed.
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