Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Meanwhile, in another corner of the Marvel universe...

Now, Marvel war comics (back when there were such animals) weren't all about Sergeant Fury and his Howling Commandos. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Marvel started to expand, a couple of new war comics were tried out, Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders (Jan. 1968 - Mar.1970) and Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen (Jun.1972 - Sep. 1973). Both had links to the Sgt Fury comic - Combat Kelly originally included a couple of Howlers in the lineup of the Deadly Dozen and Captain Savage starred as the titular hero a character who'd appeared on and off in Sgt Fury and was known then only as "the Skipper".
Now Simon Savage was an unusual character for his times, sporting as he did a beard and a moustache. This seemed to be too outré for those backward clean-shaven times, and Captain Savage eventually shaved (shudder!) while the comic's title was changed to Captain Savage and his Battlefield Raiders as of issue 9. Making the comic virtually undistinguishable from Sgt Fury obviously didn't help sales, and issue 19 was the last.
Still, in the meanwhile, readers were graced with this unusual male bondage cover (if you are a comic book cognoscenti, you know that "bondage cover" usually means female). Strangely enough, that comic where Captain Savage has to strike a temporary alliance with his Japanese counterpart was actually published in early 1968, several months before the December release of the John Boorman movie Hell in the Pacific which saw hotties Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune placed in a somewhat similar situation.