The Losers are my favorite wartime characters. They were four men from different branches of the military who'd lost men under their command. (There's also the metafictional element of how all these characters had also lost series.) Luck, or even fate, brought them together and they kept working on "special" missions for the Allied forces. These were usually suicide missions where they had to act as decoys or distract the enemy forces. On top of that, they had notoriously bad luck.
This issue is no different. The Losers are tasked to be decoys for German forces stationed at an airstrip. They think it's a suicide mission. So their "distraction" becomes "go down in a blaze of glory". Four men manage to kill an entire German platoon and destroy their base. They even manage to steal one of the German's planes and use it against them. Now that's some old-school basassery! But in true Losers' fashion, their victory is regarded a failure because it loused up larger plans they weren't told about.
I like the Losers because their very premise is a cynical view of the military. Military leaders will sacrifice men's lives if it achieves victory over an enemy. But they don't tell the men that. The Losers' are not only sent on suicide missions, their leaders tell them its suicide to their faces! This story perfectly captures the futile heroism of the team. I'm excited to read more Losers stories from the Silver and Bronze age.
Unfortunately, this great story is hurt by its art. It's not bad; it's just inappropriate for the story. This is a violent war story about men ready and willing to die. But it's drawn like a superhero comic. The coloring is too bright and the inking is too light. It just doesn't feel like a serious war story. Again, the art itself does not look terrible. It just doesn't match the tone of the story. It should be rougher; more realistic; tougher.
If you've never read a Losers story before, this is a great place to start. Then pick up the hardcover collection of 'Losers' comics by Jack Kirby. The artwork is grittier and rougher than this comic. Yeah, Kirby's artwork is better than this book's. What a shock.
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