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"Our Fighting Forces": ===Chapter One: Analog Heroes===
- It's over. Make war no more.
- -- Hal Jordan
Appearing in "Our Fighting Forces"
- North Korean soldiers
- PT Boat
- HU-16 Albatross
- F-86 Sabre
Synopsis for "Our Fighting Forces"
Chapter One: Analog Heroes
Following the closing end of World War II in Europe, the United States has been locating and procuring Axis scientists, including a Dieter Teschner who was important to America's post-war plans, was secretly transported through the Pacific Ocean to avoid detection. However, the plane carrying Teschner and a squad of O.S.S. commandos led by Colonel Richard Flagg crash landed on Dinosaur Island. Radio communication with the castaways was lost between them and the American mainland, but fortunately their location is located and an O.S.S. rescue operation (codename: "Four Horsemen") was initiated that involve The Losers: consisting of Johnny Cloud, Captain William Storm, Sarge, Gunner MacKay, and Pooch.
The Losers, voyaging on a PT Boat and trailing with a Albatross seaplane are close to their arrival, and cut loose their plane. As they are close to the island, their boat is violently rock by something large, and alive, in the ocean which sends them and their boat flying towards the island. Recovering from their crash landing, the Losers are confused of what it was that they encounter. Suddenly Pooch sense something, and a tyrannosaurus rex appears and prepares to attack them. The Losers attack the t-rex with their weapons, with Gunner firing his bazooka at it. As Cloud and Storm tries to flank the dinosaur with grenades, and while Gunner and Sarge prepares another bazooka rocket, the t-rex thrash its tail at the rocket crew, fatally wounding Gunner. Cloud and Storm manage to harm the t-rex with their grenades, mutilating its left arm and forcing it to leave. The Losers pay their respects to a dead Gunner, but Sarge is greatly affected by his death than the others who he treats Gunner almost as a brother to him.
The Losers, along with Sarge carrying a wrapped Gunner, manage to find the O.S.S. group's abandoned fortified mountain cave, discovering spare supplies of armaments including those of Japanese and Australian, but also acknowledge that there are fresh traces of human presence. The Losers make camp in the cave in hopes of awaiting the missing castaways and Sarge personally buries Gunner.
The next morning, Johnny Cloud and Storm are awaken by sounds of rocket fire and finds that Sarge is missing. Suspecting that the dispatched rockets belongs to Sarge, the two follow the sounds and suddenly they are attack by pterodactyls. They manage to kill one but Storm is carried away by another pterodactyl. Despaired of Storm's capture and helpless to save him, Cloud went back to the cave and finds Pooch with Rick Flagg. The Colonel informs Cloud that he had heard of the Losers' firefight the night before while planting traps on the north face of the mountain. On his way to his cave, Flagg had witnessed Sarge's attack on the same t-rex that attacked the Losers and was killed. Cloud then introduce himself to Flagg and his team's mission in rescuing anyone on the island, but to learn that Flagg is the only one alive and has an important microfilm copy of Teschner's notes.
With everything ready, Cloud, Pooch, and Flagg race back to the beach and prepares a life raft to cross back to the Albatross. However, Cloud tells Flagg that he intends to avenge his comrades' death in killing the t-rex. Flagg calls his vengeance insane and tries to convince him to leave the island and not waste his life, but Cloud points his pistol at Flagg and re-stating his vengeance. Flagg relents and bids farewell to Cloud before going on the raft. Cloud and Pooch prepare themselves in killing the t-rex.
The next day, Cloud and Pooch chase after the t-rex. On their way, they accidentally stumble upon one of Flagg's booby-traps, which kills Pooch and wounding Cloud. But Cloud manage to face the dinosaur and sacrifice himself into killing it by priming a pair of grenades and jumping into the dinosaur's mouth. Prior to his death, Cloud had left an epitaph on Flagg's cave which reads: "Ask my family and they'll tell you I was a Navajo. Ask the Army Air Force and they'll say I was an American. But if you ask my brothers, they'll set you straight. John Cloud was a Loser."
Three years later. A young boy sneaks to Edwards Air Force Base to have a chance to meet with his longtime hero Chuck Yeager. The boy travels to the 'Fly Inn' bar and meets with the bar's owner Miss 'Pancho' Barnes. After talking to Miss Pancho, he then meets Yeager himself. The pilot notice the boy's airman jacket and learns it belongs to the boy's father Martin, whom Yeager personally knows him, who had died in combat in the war. The boy brings out his self-made model of the Bell X-1 airplane and asking Yeager to have his autograph on the model. Yeager wholeheartedly agrees, as the boy ask him just to make it out to "Hal Jordan."
Chapter Two: State of the Union Suit
Gotham City, 1952. Hourman is being chased by policemen across some rooftops. When the policemen and Hourman, including a cameraman, run and land on a fire-escape railing, it fail to give them support causing them to fall several stories to the ground.
The scene changes to a newspaper article, "Washington Declares War On Mystery Men", written by Iris West, revealing that Hourman was wanted in for questioning in regarding to a Federal warrant, and was one of a handful of vigilantes that refused to retire or register with the Congressional Committee on Un-American Activities; however, the chase on the rooftops caused Hourman and four policemen falling to their deaths. It reveals that four years ago, following the Alger Hiss case the House on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and Senator Joseph McCarthy had been turning their focus on and blacklisting Hollywood directors, screenwriters and celebrities for alleged communist sympathies, including Roy Raymond, to questioning America's superheros and vigilantes of their loyalty.
The Justice Society of America was scapegoated and was summoned to a Congressional committee on allegations of supposed "Un-American" activities. Ultimately, Congress demanded that the JSA revealed their identities and swear an oath of loyalty. However, they refuse to recognize Congress' authority and chose to vanish from society, henceforth they retired. The JSA's stance was followed by many masked vigilantes who refuse to register to their government, leaving a few dozen of heroes to register including Superman and Wonder Woman. President Eisenhower have the Man of Steel to round up the remaining the vigilantes who refused to turn themselves in or retire. However, the Man of Steel was outmatched in facing against Gotham City's Batman who hit Superman with a unknown chemical explosive,
Concurrent with the Federal outlawing of vigilante activities, Task Force X was created which is led by Richard Flagg, in a succession of former President Harry Truman's Suicide Squad, whose purpose is to "react creatively to any challenge, Terran or Alien, scientific or biologic" that threatens the world. Even with this new change in the world's status quo, some of the American public have their doubts in their government's reactionary stance on superheros. Iris conclude her report on Hourman, whose real name Rex Tyler, and his death is respected by those he had saved in which he is tragically lauded for being a "quintessential American."
Chapter Three: Heavy Traffic in Mig Alley
July 27, 1953. The Korean War is declared over under an armistice. Hal Jordan and his wingman Kyle "Ace" Morgan have their last recon patrol over the Yalu River Delta in order for military Intelligence to draw up exact positions at the time of the ceasefire. However, not everyone had heard about the armistice.
Soon later Ace and Hal are attacked by North Korean MiGs. In the dogfight, Hal's jet is hit and forcing him to bail out. Unfortunately before he could pulled his ripcord for his parachute Hal is knocked unconscious by a piece of his jet. Seeing that Hal is unconscious, Ace position his Sabre under Hal and ejects to reach Hal, and manage to pull his ripcord. As Hal regains consciousness, he unexpectedly lands on a trench and knocks out a North Korean soldier in the process.
Meanwhile, 100 kilometers away in South Korea, reporters Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are picked up to Seoul by helicopter pilot Steve Johnstone. The pilot is radio in by Firebase Rescue of Ace and Hal's ordeal - Ace is already rescued - and is required to extract Hal.
In the trench that Hal was in, he sees Johnstone's helicopter and signals it with a smoke flare. However, other North Korean soldiers sees the flare and the helicopter. As Hal prepare his pistol for the worst, he is then attack by the previous unconscious Korean soldier, who pulls out a knife. As they wrestle, Hal tries to tell him of the war's ceasefire but couldn't remember to speak the Korean language. The soldier is almost close to stabbing Hal, but Hal manage to pull out his pistol and reluctantly shoots the soldier. The helicopter arrives and both Johnstone and Jimmy rescue Hal before more Korean soldiers arrives.
Lois, who doesn't know of Hal's ordeal, enthusiastically ask him of how he cheated death, but for Hal to sadly reply in Korean. Johnstone translate to Lois that Hal said "It's over. Make war no more."
- This book was first published on January 21, 2004.
- This issue was dedicated to Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, Harvey Kurtzman, and Alex Toth.
- The conflict between Superman and Batman is later retold in accurate detail in Justice League: The New Frontier Special #1.
- There are some historic inaccuracies if not alternations in this issue (and the series as a whole). Eisenhower is President in 1952, but he wasn't until 1953, and Senator Joseph McCarthy is the head of the House Un-American Activities Committee, but McCarthy never sat on the HUAC as he was elected directly to the Senate in '48. John Stephens Wood was the chairman of HUAC at the time.
- The title of the issue's chapter, "Our Fighting Forces", is named after DC Comics's war-anthology comic book series of the same name, which also starred the mainstream Losers.
- The bar that young Hal Jordan visit to meet Chuck Yeager is based on the 1983 movie The Right Stuff that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the American attempt to break the sound barrier and the subsequent Space Race.
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Links and References
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