Great Military Comic Book Heroes
In observance of Memorial Day, and the thousands of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives defending the United States, ComicBook.com is honoring the top military comic book heroes. Below, we list our favorite characters to honor the stars and stripes, and explain their significance to comics as a whole.
1) Nick Fury
Before the one-eyed cigar chomper became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury was waist deep in the trenches of World War II. Fighting alongside Captain America, Bucky, and the Howling Commandos, Sgt. Fury played an instrumental part in defeating the Nazis and their fictional brethren, HYDRA. It was in the war where Fury discovered his leadership skills and the true definition of a selfless hero. With the tools and experiences he gained abroad, Fury acquired the smarts needed to become the Marvel Universe's top super sleuth.
2) Frank Castle/The Punisher
When he was a younger man, The Punisher was actually a top marine for the United States military. How else do you think he became one of the Marvel Universe's toughest players? Though time has tweaked Punisher's military service from Vietnam, to the Gulf War, one fact has always remained consistent: Frank Castle knows how to fight. The Matt Fraction-penned Punisher: War Journal series from a few years back actually explored some of Frank's military roots, exposing Frank's life as a marine and how it influenced his present vigilantism.
3) John Stewart
One of DC's strongest Green Lanterns also has a strong history with the U.S. Marines. Before joining a much larger force with the Green Lantern Corp., Stewart was one of the Marine Corps.' top snipers. And even though he traded his gun for a green ring, Stewart still applies much of his military training and discipline in the Corp. Intended as the second backup Green Lantern of Earth, Stewart's hard will and headstrong attitude quickly elevated him not just through the Corps.'s fictional ranks, but through fans' affections as well. With his limitless appeal, he represented the Corp. in Cartoon Network's Justice League series, and is a top contender to wield the ring in DC Entertainment's upcoming Green Lantern reboot.
4) Captain America
The cover to Captain America Comics #1 says it all. When America needed a hero to confront the Nazi regime even before World War II began, creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby gave the nation one of its boldest icons. As Captain America, Sgt. Steve Rogers saved the world time and time again from the tyranny of the Third Reich. But even after the war ended, Captain Americadid not. When the Avengers resuscitated Cap from suspended animation decades later, Rogers continued to fight for the morals and ideals that founded this nation. Sporting the country's colors proudly across his uniform, Captain America is the true comic book embodiment American patriotism.
5) Sergeant Rock
Though created in the 1950's by Joe Kubert and Robert Kanigher, Sergeant Rock quickly became one of comicdoms' favorite WWII heroes. With is his faithful infantrymen, The Easy Company, by his side, Rock continuously defends his four-color universe from Nazi threats. While just a man, Rock could probably teach Batman a lesson or two in toughness. Able to endure wounds of every sort, wielding incredible strength, and possessing deadly combat skills with and without a firearm, Rock is any enemy soldier's worst nightmare. While the original Rock hasn't seen steady publication in years, DC did explore the modern day adventures of his grandson, Joe Rock, in the recent "Men of War" series. In the comics, the legendary soldier's grandson leads a new Easy Company as ex-military men-turned contractors. And while Men of War was alright, we're much bigger fans of the hard-stomping, tough-loving original.
Who are your favorite military comic book heroes? Let us know in the comments below, and have a happy Memorial Day.