Under the Radar

Sgt. Rock Gets a Reboot

By The Mad Duo

Sgt. Rock of Easy Company is either retired or KIA depending on the story line, but his grandson is still fighting—in fact, he’s commanding the newest incarnation of Easy Company. Not a battered infantry company fighting its way across Europe this time, now it’s a corporate team of former military personnel (presumably SOF operators and the like) turned ‘high risk contractors’. Think PMC/PSC like Triple Canopy, Olive Group, Blackwater and the like, only going after super-villains of the DC Comics Universe instead of insurgents.

The new book will apparently be called Men of War and it’s not the only new one coming. According to the comic book company itself, all DC Comics set in the will be starting over, beginning with new number ones. There will be major changes to the old heroes, villains and “super-groups”, some of which may no longer exist at all.

Here's a reminder of what WWII Sgt. Rock looked like.

Apparently a series of 52 first issues will launch this historic “renumbering and restart” beginning on Wednesday 31 AUG 11 with the release of the new Justice League. All of the hard copy print comics will be accompanied by a simultaneous digital release for people that prefer to read them on assorted electronic devices rather than the good old fashioned way.

A number of teasers have come out but there’s not as much info out there as die hard comic book fans might wish. According to a number of industry sources, DC writers were required to sign restrictive NDAs before being allowed to work on their titles.

What else is new besides Sgt. Rock’s grandson and his top secret team of contractors? Well, in at least one title the Man of now wears jeans and a t-shirt instead of the traditional tights and cape. Pretty much all of the female heroes are wearing pants now instead of short shorts, skirts and the like (though it’s all still very tight). The Justice League will boast a total of 14 members, with a new secret reason for coming together (unlike its original founding in 1960). Stormwatch, now reinforced by Martian Manhunter, has been joined by the Authority’s Midnighter and Apollo, which seems a little odd, since those two—originally written as homosexual analogs to Batman and Superman—historically have little compunction about killing supervillains, something Martian Manhunter isn’t likely to tolerate.

Batman’s Robin is apparently now his son, Damian (in at least one Batman title anyway), a gatling-gun toting Frankenstein is an operative of something called S.H.A.D.E. (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive) and there’s another supernatural type Justice League called Justice League Dark comprised of Deadman, Zatanna, John Constantine, et al.  Other titles include a moody teenage Supergirl who didn’t get the memo about pants and doesn’t much like the people of Earth and another team of elite former military operators called the Blackhawks (not all pilots as in previous series).

As for Sgt. Rock, not much else is known. We have no idea what his MOS or branch of service was, nor any details of Easy Company. We don’t know yet what secret corporate entity is paying the bills or if they’ll get suffer the same tired anti-‘mercenary’ tropes. Presumably they’ll be politically expedient, deniable and dangerous to cross, and you can bet at some point they’ll get cross-wise with whatever do-gooders remain in the DC Universe.

It remains to be seen if young Sgt. Rock can do half what his hard-bitten grandpappy could do, or if he can establish a loyal following.

The original DC notification is here. Learn more about the new September titles here.

 

Richard Kilgore and Jake Call frequently write for Military.com’s Kit Up! Catch them there, on their blog or on FaceBook. Let them know of anything you believe deserves their discerning eye or scalpel-like wit (sissies and hippies need not apply).

 

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