G.I. Combat

G.I. Combat was an American comics anthology featuring war stories. It was published from 1952 until 1956 by Quality Comics, followed by DC Comics until its final issue in 1987. In 2012 it was briefly revived.

G.I. Combat
G.I. Combat #168 (January 1974).
Cover art by Neal Adams.
Publication information
PublisherQuality Comics (1952–56)
DC Comics (1957–1987, 2012–2013)
#1–78, #158–170
#175–200, #221–277
#79–157, #171–175
#201–220, #278–288
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateVol. 1: October 1952–March 1987
Vol. 2: July 2012– February 2013
No. of issuesVol. 1: 288
Vol. 2: 8 (#1–7 plus issue numbered 0)
Main character(s)The Haunted Tank
Creative team
Written byVol. 1:Robert Kanigher, George Kashdan
Vol. 2: Justin Gray, J. T. Krul, Jimmy Palmiotti, Peter Tomasi
Penciller(s)Vol. 1: Neal Adams, Ross Andru, Sam Glanzman, Jerry Grandenetti, Joe Kubert
Vol. 2: Howard Chaykin, Staz Johnson, Ariel Olivetti, Dan Panosian
Inker(s)Vol. 1: Mike Esposito
Editor(s)Robert Kanigher (#44–129)
Joe Kubert (#130–157)
Archie Goodwin (#158–173)
Murray Boltinoff (#174–288)

Publication history

The focus was on stories about American soldiers or G.I.s. Initially, the stories involved Cold War adventures with strong anti-Communist themes, but over time the focus shifted to tales from World War II, and most of the stories after Quality ceased publishing the title were set during this period. As with other media, the World War II setting was sometimes used to discuss themes pertinent to contemporary conflicts such as the Vietnam War.

The first issue of G.I. Combat was published in October 1952.[1] When DC Comics acquired the rights to the Quality Comics characters and titles, they continued publishing the series starting with issue #44 (January 1957).[2] G.I. Combat and Blackhawk were the only Quality titles which DC continued publishing. Many notable writers and artists worked on G.I. Combat during its run, including Robert Kanigher, who also edited the title, Joe Kubert, Jerry Grandenetti and Neal Adams.

Each issue of G.I. Combat contained several short comic stories, a format that continued throughout its run. There were several recurring features in the DC Comics version of the title, including most notably "The Haunted Tank", which first appeared in issue #87 (May 1961)[3] and ran until 1987. The Losers' first appearance as a group was with the Haunted Tank crew in issue #138 (Oct.-Nov. 1969),[4] in a story titled "The Losers". Other recurring features included "The Bravos of Vietnam" (about U.S. Marines in the Vietnam War) and late in its run, a return to Cold War themes with a short-lived recurring feature about 1980s mercenaries. Beginning with issue #201 (April–May 1977), G.I. Combat was DC's only war comic to be upgraded to its "Dollar Comics" line, with additional pages of content beyond the then-standard 32-page format. The Dollar Comic format was used through issue #259 (November 1983).[5] The series continued in a 52-page giant-sized format through issue #281 (January 1986)[6] before returning to a standard 32 page size with #282 (March 1986).[7]

The Monitor's first full appearance was in G.I. Combat #274 (February 1985).[8] By the 1980s, war comics grew less marketable and Sgt. Rock, The Unknown Soldier, and Weird War Tales were discontinued. G.I. Combat's final issue was #288 (March 1987).

2012 series

DC launched a new G.I. Combat ongoing series (cover dated July 2012) as part of The New 52.[9] Featured stories included "The War that Time Forgot" by writer J. T. Krul and artist Ariel Olivetti, with back up stories starring the Unknown Soldier by writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Dan Panosian.[10] The Haunted Tank feature began in issue #5.[11] The new series was canceled as of issue #7 on sale in December 2012 and cover dated February 2013.[12][13]

Collected editions

  • Sgt. Rock Archives Vol. 1 includes G.I. Combat #68, 240 pages, May 2002, ISBN 978-1-56389-841-9
  • America at War includes G.I. Combat #87: "Introducing -- the Haunted Tank" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath, 247 pages, July 1979, ISBN 978-0671249533
  • Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank
    • Volume 1 collects G.I. Combat #87-119, 560 pages, May 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0789-8
    • Volume 2 collects G.I. Combat #120-157, 560 pages, June 2008, ISBN 978-1-4012-1793-8
  • G.I. Combat Vol. 1: The War That Time Forgot collects G.I. Combat vol. 3 #0-7, 224 pages, April 2013, ISBN 978-1-4012-3853-7


  1. ^ G.I. Combat (Quality Comics) at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ G.I. Combat (DC Comics) at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. G.I. Combat #87 saw Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart guide Lt. Jeb Stuart and the Haunted Tank on their first adventure by scribe Robert Kanigher and artist Russ Heath.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 135: "Scribe Robert Kanigher and artist Russ Heath turned these self-described Losers - including "Navajo Ace" Johnny Cloud of the U.S. Army Air Force, Marines Gunner Mackey and Sarge Clay, and Captain William Storm, a PT boat commander with a prosthetic leg - into a fighting force that meshed as one."
  5. ^ Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (57): 39–41.
  6. ^ "G.I. Combat #281". Grand Comics Database.
  7. ^ "G.I. Combat #282". Grand Comics Database.
  8. ^ Kanigher, Robert (w), Glanzman, Sam (p), Glanzman, Sam (i). "Death March" G.I. Combat 274 (February 1985)
  9. ^ Moore, Matt (May 2, 2012). "DC adds 6 new titles, including modern G.I. Combat". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Kushins, Josh (January 12, 2012). "DC Comics in 2012-–-Introducing the "Second Wave" of DC Comics The New 52". The Source. DC Comics. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  11. ^ Tomasi, Peter (w), Chaykin, Howard (p), Chaykin, Howard (i). "Mettle" G.I. Combat v2, 5 (December 2012)
  12. ^ Johnston, Rich (September 17, 2012). "DC Comics Cancels G.I. Combat With Issue Seven". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. DC Comics has cancelled the first of their Second Wave titles.
  13. ^ Langshaw, Mark (September 18, 2012). "G.I. Combat canceled by DC Comics". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. G.I. Combat draws to a close with issue #7 in December.

External links

Arnold Drake

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Drake was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008.

Blackhawks (DC Comics)

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Dollar Comics

Dollar Comics was a line of DC Comics comic book publications issued from 1977 to 1983. They included the titles The Superman Family, House of Mystery, G.I. Combat, World's Finest Comics, Batman Family, and Adventure Comics; as well as the series of specials with the umbrella title of DC Special Series. Dollar Comics were notable for costing $1, having 64 pages, and being advertising-free.

E. R. Cruz

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Hank Chapman

Henry P. Chapman (living status unknown), who is credited in comics under both his formal name and as Hank Chapman, is an American comic book writer for Marvel Comics' two predecessors, Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, and later for DC Comics, where he specialized in war fiction. Though much of his Timely/Atlas work went unsigned, comics historians estimate that Chapman, a staff writer, penned several hundred or more stories.Among Chapman's works is an early self-reflexive comic-book story, in 1951, in which he and editor Stan Lee appear; and the creation, with artist Jack Abel, of the DC Comics character Sgt. Mule, a pack animal that helped its Allied keepers fight the Nazis in a variety of World War II stories.

Haunted Tank

The Haunted Tank is a comic book feature that appeared in the DC Comics anthology war title G.I. Combat from 1961 through 1987.

Jerry DeFuccio

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Monitor (comics)

The Monitor is a fictional character created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez as one of the main characters of DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series.

The character began appearing, along with his assistant Lyla Michaels, in numerous DC Comics titles beginning in 1982, three years before the Crisis began in July 1985; these appearances made it seem that he was some sort of weapons dealer for supervillains. This was all part of the setup Wolfman and the staff of DC Comics planned for the Crisis, showing the Monitor currying favor with villains such as Maxie Zeus, prior to calling on the heroes. The Monitor was depicted in the shadows for all of his appearances in DC's mainstream superhero titles, and his face was first revealed in one of their few remaining non-superhero titles, the war comic G.I. Combat issue #274.

LaMonica Garrett portrays the character in his live-action television debut on The CW's 2018 Arrowverse crossover Elseworlds.

Murray Boltinoff

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Our Fighting Forces

Our Fighting Forces is a war comics anthology series published by DC Comics for 181 issues from 1954–1978.

Quality Comics

Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company which operated from 1937 to 1956 and was a creative, influential force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books.

Notable, long-running titles published by Quality include Blackhawk, Feature Comics, G.I. Combat, Heart Throbs, Military Comics, Modern Comics, Plastic Man, Police Comics, Smash Comics, and The Spirit. While most of their titles were published by a company named Comic Magazines, from 1940 onwards all publications bore a logo that included the word "Quality". Notable creators associated with the company included Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Gill Fox, Paul Gustavson, Bob Powell, and Wally Wood.

Robert Kanigher

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Russ Heath

Russell Heath, Jr. (September 29, 1926 – August 23, 2018) was an American artist best known for his comic book work, particularly his DC Comics war stories and his 1960s art for Playboy magazine's "Little Annie Fanny" feature. He has also produced commercial art, two pieces of which, depicting Roman and Revolutionary War battle scenes for toy soldier sets, became familiar pieces of Americana after gracing the back covers of countless comic books from the early 1960s to early 1970s.

Heath's drawings of fighter jets in DC Comics' All-American Men of War #89 (Feb. 1962) served as the basis for pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's best-known oil paintings.

Heath was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2009.

Sam Glanzman

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Sgt. Rock

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The Losers (comics)

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The War that Time Forgot

The War that Time Forgot was a comic book feature published by DC Comics beginning in 1960 in the title Star Spangled War Stories, created by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. It ran for eight years, ending in 1968 and returned as a limited series in 2008.

Featuring a combination of fantasy, science fiction and World War II comic motifs, the stories featured a group of American soldiers, stranded on an uncharted island during the Pacific War which they discover is populated by dinosaurs.

War comics

War comics is a genre of comic books that gained popularity in English-speaking countries following World War II.

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