Weird War Tales

Weird War Tales was a war comic book title with supernatural overtones published by DC Comics. It was published from September–October 1971 to June 1983.

Weird War Tales
Weird War Tales 1971 1
Cover of Weird War Tales #1 (September–October 1971).
Art by Joe Kubert.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Publication date
No. of issues
Creative team
Written by

Publication history

The original title ran for 12 years and 124 issues. It was an anthology series that told war stories with horror, mystery, fantasy and science fiction elements.[1] Changes in the Comics Code Authority made the use of horror elements possible.[2] The first seven issues were reprinted material. Each issue beginning with issue #8 was hosted by Death, usually depicted as a skeleton dressed in a different military uniform each issue. The title's name was inspired by editor Joe Orlando.[3] Walt Simonson's first professional published comic book work appeared in Weird War Tales #10 (January 1973).[4] Roger McKenzie and Frank Miller's first collaboration was on a two-page story published in Weird War Tales #68 (October 1978).[5] Recurring characters began to appear late in the series run, notably the G.I. Robot, and the return of "The War that Time Forgot" which originally ran in Star Spangled War Stories. Writer J. M. DeMatteis and penciler Pat Broderick created the Creature Commandos in Weird War Tales #93 (November 1980).[6]

In Weird War Tales #101 (July 1981), the G.I. Robot is deployed to a Pacific island alongside the Marines to fight the Japanese military. Although the robot is technically named "Jungle Automatic Killer - Experimental Number 1" (J.A.K.E. 1), it is given the nickname of the G.I. Robot. J.A.K.E. 1 is destroyed in Weird War Tales #111 (May 1982) but is replaced by J.A.K.E. 2, which continues to fight on various Pacific islands, including Dinosaur Island. It later teams with the Creature Commandos.[7]

Several issues featured a series of short vignettes titled "The Day After Doomsday" featuring largely doomed characters dealing with various threats and harsh ironies of living in a post-nuclear war apocalyptic landscape. The first few stories dealt with a society reduced to medieval ways seven centuries after a war but most others dealt with the near-term aftermath, with the unexpected results of radiation or infrastructure damage almost always catching the characters by surprise.

Other stories featured robot soldiers, ghosts, the undead, and other paranormal characters from different eras of time.[1]


Weird War Tales 1997 1
Cover of Weird War Tales, vol. 2, #1 (June 1997). Art by Glenn Fabry.

Weird War Tales was revived for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint in 1997. It was published as a four-issue limited series, followed by a single-issue special in 2000.

Collected editions

  • Showcase Presents: Weird War Tales collects Weird War Tales #1-21, 576 pages, December 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3694-4
  • America at War includes Weird War Tales #3: "The Pool" by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Russ Heath, 247 pages, July 1979, ISBN 978-0671249533
  • Showcase Presents: The Great Disaster featuring the Atomic Knights includes "The Day After Doomsday" stories from Weird War Tales #22-23, 30, 32, 40, 42-44, 46-49, 51-53, 64, 68, 69, and 123, 576 pages, June 2014, ISBN 978-1401242909
  • The Steve Ditko Omnibus Volume 1 includes stories from Weird War Tales #46, 49, 95, 99, and 104-106, 480 pages, September 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3111-X
  • Creature Commandos collects Weird War Tales #93, 97, 100, 102, 105, 108-112, 114-119, 121, and 124, 288 pages, December 2013, ISBN 978-1401243821

See also


  1. ^ a b Don, Vaughan (February 2015). "The Horrors of Combat: DC's Weird War Tales". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (78): 31–40.
  2. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. With the Comics Code Authority relaxing its decades-long stance on censoring the use of monsters and the undead in mainstream comics, DC placed an emphasis on the horror of combat with Weird War Tales.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 153. ISBN 0821220764. 'Carmine Infantino and I found out that the word weird sold well.' [editor Joe] Orlando recalls. 'So DC created Weird War and Weird Western.'
  4. ^ Cooke, Jon B. (October 2000). "Simonson Says The Man of Two Gods Recalls His 25+ Years in Comics". Comic Book Artist. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (10): 18.
  5. ^ Weird War Tales #68 at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 189 "A battalion of horror icons created by the U.S. government to aid the American war effort made its debut in an off-beat story by writer J. M. DeMatteis and penciler Pat Broderick."
  7. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008), "G. I. Robot", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley, p. 134, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5

External links

1980 in comics

Notable events of 1980 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Blitzkrieg (DC Comics)

Blitzkrieg was a short-lived 1970s war-themed comic book published by DC Comics.

Creature Commandos

The Creature Commandos are a fictional DC Comics team of military superhumans originally set in World War II. The original team was introduced in Weird War Tales #93 (November 1980).The modern team first appeared in their own mini-series Creature Commandos #1 May 2000; this version was written by Tim Truman and drawn by Scot Eaton.

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Death (DC Comics)

Death is a fictional character from the DC comic book series, The Sandman (1989–1996). The character first appeared in The Sandman vol. 2, #8 (August 1989), and was created by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg.In the stories, Death is both the end of life and a psychopomp. Like most anthropomorphic personifications of death, Death meets with the recently deceased and guides them into their new existence. However, unlike most personifications of death, she also visits people as they are born, according to Destruction in the Sandman Special: The Song of Orpheus. Evidently, only she seems to remember these encounters. In the special issue, it is also revealed that Death was known in Ancient Greece as Teleute.

Physically, Death is also opposite to the traditional western culture personification of death (see Grim Reaper). In The Sandman, Death instead appears as an attractive, pale young goth woman dressed in casual clothes — often a black top and jeans. She also wears a silver ankh on a chain around her neck, and has a marking similar to the eye of Horus around her right eye. She is pleasant, down-to-earth, perky, and has been a nurturing figure for both incarnations of Dream. This irony has helped make Death one of the most popular characters from Sandman. Death was named the fifteenth greatest comic book character by Empire Magazine.

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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. Robot

G.I. Robot is the name of a series of six fictional robots that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics. The very first G.I. Robot, nicknamed Joe, first appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #101 (February–March 1962), created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, with a second one named Mac in Star Spangled War Stories #125 (February–March 1966), by Kanigher and Joe Kubert.

The better known J.A.K.E. 1 first appeared in Weird War Tales #101 (July 1981), created by Kanigher and Pepe Morino Casaras. J.A.K.E. 2 first appeared in Weird War Tales #113 (July 1982), by Kanigher and Fred Carrillo.

A newer model of G.I. Robot, designed by Lex Luthor for use by the United States military, was introduced in Batman Confidential #4, by Andy Diggle and Whilce Portacio. Subsequently, J.A.K.E. #6.1 appeared in Checkmate Vol. 2 #24 (May 2008), created by Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann.

Gerry Talaoc

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Jerry DeFuccio

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Joe Orlando

Joseph "Joe" Orlando (April 4, 1927 – December 23, 1998) was an Italian American illustrator, writer, editor and cartoonist during a lengthy career spanning six decades. He was the associate publisher of Mad and the vice president of DC Comics, where he edited numerous titles and ran DC's Special Projects department.

Nestor Redondo

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Romeo Tanghal

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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.


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Weird Mystery Tales

Weird Mystery Tales was a mystery horror comics anthology published by DC Comics from July–August 1972 to November 1975.

Weird Worlds (comics)

Weird Worlds was an American comic book science-fiction anthology series published by DC Comics. It ran from 1972 to 1974 for a total of 10 issues. The title's name was partially inspired by the sales success of Weird War Tales and Weird Western Tales. A second series was published in 2011.

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