How many classic DC characters were actual veterans in their initial runs?

Off the top of my head, I got:

  • Commissioner Gordon
  • Wonder Woman
  • Most of the Justice Society
  • Ace Morgan
  • Hal Jordan (ever mentioned in the Silver/Bronze Ages?)
  • Rick Flagg
  • Ragman
  • Thomas Wayne
  • Jonah Hex

Any others? And was it a retcon?

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Jim Gordon was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, but that was a post-Crisis retcon post crisis photo postcrisis.gif like the nonsense business that he's from Chicago. Pre-Crisis, Gordan was a native Gothamite, born and bred, who rose through the ranks at the Gotham Police Department from rookie patrolman to commissioner. 

You're right. I was remembering a story where a young, enlisted Jim Gordon got involved in a "Hollywood Canteen" like mystery with some JSAers there in 1945. Of course, I should have suspected the story's accuracy since it featured Black Canary who didn't debut until 1947!

But, to be fair, Post-Crisis Gordon was in Chicago for fifteen years, he was described as returning to Gotham City.

John Stewart served in the US Marine Corps. 

Captain Storm recently returned to the mainland in the Superman Special, after spending decades on Dinosaur Island. 

Jason Bard served in Vietnam.

I don't know for certain, but I think that's a Post-Crisis thing.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

John Stewart served in the US Marine Corps. 


Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman, was a West Point graduate and an Army officer.

I think you're right. Pretty sure the change was made for the Justice League cartoon -- but he might have had history as a Marine earlier, and they were just the first to really emphasize it. 

Randy Jackson said:

I don't know for certain, but I think that's a Post-Crisis thing.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

John Stewart served in the US Marine Corps. 


Wasn’t she asked to leave West Point before graduation?

ClarkKent_DC said:

Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman, was a West Point graduate and an Army officer.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman, was a West Point graduate and an Army officer.

Martin Gray said:

Wasn’t she asked to leave West Point before graduation?

If you say so; I will totally take your word on that. I don't claim to be fully knowledgeable about Kate Kane.

It was a retcon, but today* Alfred Pennyworth seems to be a British Army medic who served in Afghanistan. Of course, to make him more exciting he apparently was also special forces. It's handy for today's writers of Sherlock Holmes stories that John Watson served in Afghanistan in the original stories and in modern stories is being portrayed the same way. 

* They took this direction in Batman Earth One and in the Gotham TV show. Not sure if this is canon today.

All of John's pre-Crisis appearances had him as an architect. I don't recall any mention of military service. In fact in Green Lantern: Mosaic , he seemed very non-militaristic.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I think you're right. Pretty sure the change was made for the Justice League cartoon -- but he might have had history as a Marine earlier, and they were just the first to really emphasize it. 

Randy Jackson said:

I don't know for certain, but I think that's a Post-Crisis thing.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

John Stewart served in the US Marine Corps. 


Militaristic is a judgmental term. It's possible to be a veteran and not be militaristic. I'm not. photo tongue.gif

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