What I’m Reading: All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes
March 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
Why can’t a good war/military comic book last? Just a glance at the list of cancelled DC New 52 titles provides a list of ALL of DC’s military comics: Blackhawks, Men of War, G.I. Combat, and if you stretch the confines of the genre, Team 7 and Deathstroke. I won’t get into the office politics at DC since I know nothing about that, but if sales were an issue, other war/military titles aren’t selling so hot either. A quick glance at Comichron for the last few months will tell you that Marvel’s Fury MAX hasn’t been selling much better than Team 7, and most of the G.I. Joe titles from IDW have been selling well south of both of them.
Another recent war genre casualty from Marvel was All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes, an eight-issue miniseries cancelled in 2011 after issue #5. I snagged issue #1 during the notorious Marvel Comixology sale a couple weeks ago, so I knew from the start that the story was incomplete. Other than that I had no idea what I was getting into it, and I got hooked bad on the characters and the action.
Written by Paul Jenkins (Hellblazer, Wolverine) and with art by Carmine Di Giandomenico (Spider-Man: Noir) All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes tells the story of a squad of superheroes called the Crazy Sues who head into WWII combat under the leadership of Captain America. The plot is framed in the present: the granddaughter of the Young Avenger, a member of the squad, is trying to write his story when she inadvertently gets the attention of some government spooks and the Norse god Loki. None of which makes sense by the end of issue #5.
The interesting bit of All Winners Squad is about the Crazy Sues campaigning through the Pacific and Europe in WWII. Like the heroes of a lot of contemporary comics, the Crazy Sues find it hard to be heroic – especially Slo-Mo, the sole black soldier in the squad (and presumably the whole division). Dealing with racism in his unit and a personal moral dilemma, Slo-Mo discovers that sometimes the wrong choice is the only choice. Without giving any spoilers, all I can say is that the results are explosive.
Check out All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes, but only if you’re up for the disappointment of a work being incomplete; incomplete works like, say, The Mystery of Edwin Drood or Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, aren’t always disappointing.
Be sure to check out my horror webcomic MetaMorphosis!