6 other comic book makers who served their country
If there’s one artistic medium that attracts a remarkable number of veterans, it’s comics. A lot of times it takes the spirit of someone who served in the military to create a superhero that is truly believable and can relate to.
It is well known that many sponsors of the comic book industry served in the United States military. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Syd Shores, for example, all fought on the Western Front in World War II. But many other writers and artists have served as well – like these 6 Creative Spirits.
Jim Starlin – Navy
Many Marvel space-themed comics come from the mind of Vietnam War photographer and Navy veteran Jim starlin. After returning to Detroit, he first made a living working on cars. Eventually, he burst into the comic book industry with many originals and revisions of existing cosmic characters.
Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and even Thanos were all co-created by him. Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Ultimate MacGuffins, Infinity Stones, and the basis of the latest blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War, come from the Starlin scenarios.
Humbly enough, she never wrote herself in a comic … although she somehow deserved it.
Alice Marble – OSS
Before becoming one of the first women to play a leading role in comics, Alice Marble lived a crazy life. Not only was she a world-class tennis player, but during WWII she served as a spy for the US government. She recovered from a bullet in the back by a German agent and began to share her life through the adventures of Wonder Woman.
She was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Wonder woman and was the creator of the Wonder Women of History bands. These shorts were one page bookends attached to the end of each Wonder woman number that showed a woman’s badassery by number.
He is also responsible for making superheroes jerk off under their spandex.
(Photo by Alan Light)
Curt Swan – Army
DC’s most respected Silver Age artist served in the Minnesota National Guard during World War II. Short swan was activated and deployed in Europe when his peers discovered his incredible gift for drawing. He was immediately reassigned by his superiors to do comics for Stars and Stripes.
After falling in love with a Red Cross employee (whom he would eventually marry), Swan got a job at DC Comics, drawing Superman from 1948 to 1986. His ability to impart frenzied superpowers on paper, like the iconic wooshings which show speed or the powerful impact bubbles that denote heavy punches, was heavily imitated.
He worked on ‘The’ Nam ‘with the next entry on this list…
Doug Murray – Army
Doug Murray served in Vietnam and later crafted what is considered to be one of the truest portrayals of the war through his series, The ‘Nam. Remarkably, Murray was smart enough to stay true to the horrors and ugly sides of war while keeping the Comic Book Code Authority happy.
The ‘Nam wasn’t pretty and conjured up many horrific truths about war, but he cleverly hid his punches to be approved for publication. Apart from The ‘Nam, Murray also wrote the Weapon X series, which gave Wolverine its definitive backstory.
The character of “GI Joe” Tunnel Rat is based entirely on him and his life.
Larry Hama – Army
After fighting in Vietnam as a combat engineer and “tunnel rat”, Larry Hama started a career in acting before returning to his childhood passion, comics.
Not only did he work on The Warlord, Wonder Woman, and Batman for DC, but he earned his place among Marvel greats when he took over the GI Joe comics and turned it into the deep franchise that fans love today instead of just a line of generic military toys. He also co-created The ‘Nam, Wolverine, Punisher: War Zone, and Venom.
Sgt. Rock’s service number was Kanigher’s in real life.
Bob Kanigher – Army
There was a drastic drop in the popularity of comics in the 1950s that nearly destroyed the industry. Only children and soldiers read comics – and children began to lose interest in them. The day was saved when an army veteran named Robert kanigher burst on stage.
He took over Wonder woman after the death of William Moulton Marston and ushered in the Silver Age of Comics. His works include almost everything in DC that was not created during the Golden Age. Her artistic baby, however, is one of the military and veteran community’s favorite comics, Sgt. rock.