The Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives (Some Spoilage May Occur)

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My only complaint about this series is that it was reprinted almost two decades after Roy Thomas's All-Star Squadron, which used so many Leading Comics elements as story springboards (or corrected them). It would have been nice to have these Archives for reference every time Thomas got all retcon-y* on us.

 

Overall I had fun reading about Golden Age DC's junior varsity team, a little-known corner of comic-book history.

 

*Completely off-topic: Wouldn't "Ret Connie" be an awesome villainess? "Come no closer, Superman -- or I'll retroactively turn your mother into a man, and you'll never have been born!"


Commander Benson said:

 

But I wasn’t there then.  There might have been some racist thinking involved.  Or they might have been really in love with the name “Seven Soldiers of Victory” and didn’t want to change it.   Or maybe a little of both.


You make a solid case, Commander, as usual. We'll never know what these creators from another era were thinking, nor is it even easy to guess from 60 years down the road. For my part, the uncritical assumption of racism about Wing's non-inclusion is debunked, as it is obviously more complicated than it seems at first blush. As usual, any explanation that is obvious and simple is neither.

One thing I think deserves mention is how many Chinese characters there were in Golden Age comics as good guys -- since, after the U.S. got into the war, China was officially an ally. Of course, the usual stereotypes often applied, such as long braids (the "queue," introduced in the 17th century and abandoned in 1922), buck teeth and so forth. Plus, they were never heroes, only aides, assistants, sidekicks, what-have-you. But at least "good" Asians had a presence (naturally, the Japanese were all bad). As a result, comics creators can build today from the legacies of Wing, Stuff, Chop-Chop (Blackhawks) -- even Green Lama's partner, who was Tibetan, I think.

Great thread.  I didn't read all the posts.  I hope to read this comic series one day.  Maybe they could put out a showcase?  Even a wee one?

 

Anyone who's enjoyed this series really owes it to themselves to read the JLA-JSA-7SoV team-up which begins in JLA #100 and then Grant Morrison's 2005 mega-humdinger series of Seven Soldiers of Victory.  From reading some of the posts on this thread he definitely ties a lot of the latest series into the first (Another reason I want to read the Golden Age series.), and some of the elements of the JLA-JSA crossover are central to Morrison's story.  

 

It really is all one big decades-spanning story, in the best traditions of these patchwork quilts of universes. 

 

Hopefully you can bring us along with you when you do get around to reading the 'sequels', Baron.

Capt. Comics said: "But at least "good" Asians had a presence (naturally, the Japanese were all bad)."

 

I've been re-reading Simon & Kirby's Capt. America  (to prime myself for the WWII-set movie). I noticed the Japanese villains, before Pearl Harbor, are not explicitly described as Japanese -- though with names like "Okada" and "Nishima," they obviously weren't Chinese.

 

S & K didn't bother with subtlety. The "Asiatic" villains have fangs and pointed ears, and they drool a lot. They're masters of torture ("We Orientals have ways of making you talk!") and specialize in throwing hatchets into people's backs. And to think the portrayals actually became MORE vicious after Pearl Harbor!

Figserello said:

Great thread.  I didn't read all the posts.  I hope to read this comic series one day.  Maybe they could put out a showcase?  Even a wee one?

 

Anyone who's enjoyed this series really owes it to themselves to read the JLA-JSA-7SoV team-up which begins in JLA #100 and then Grant Morrison's 2005 mega-humdinger series of Seven Soldiers of Victory.  From reading some of the posts on this thread he definitely ties a lot of the latest series into the first (Another reason I want to read the Golden Age series.), and some of the elements of the JLA-JSA crossover are central to Morrison's story.  

 

It really is all one big decades-spanning story, in the best traditions of these patchwork quilts of universes. 

 

Hopefully you can bring us along with you when you do get around to reading the 'sequels', Baron.

 

So I finally got around to buying the SSoV Archives vol 1.  It's my first DC Archives, as I can rarely justify the outlay, compared to TPBs or Showcase/Essentials (or back issues, or Comixology versions.)

 

I felt I owed it to myself to get it, as I have got so much fun out of Morrison's SSoV and admire Wein's JLA/SSoV team-up.  I can't stress how rereadable Morrison's SSoV story is.  There's just so much in it.  There's lots of ways to read it: Update of some old DC concepts, discussion on how superhero comics treat their characters, grand good vs evil fantasy epic, exploration of how continuity is manipulated, even discussion of some serious philosophical, cultural and literary ideas.

 

I found myself wanting to reread it again recently when I was plowing through the JLA issues that preceded Wein's short, highly regarded run (those are some weird comics!).  As I approached issue #100, I realised that I wanted to read the JLA/JSA/SSoV team-up as part of the "SSoV Trilogy", which was another level that Morrison wrote his SSoV epic on.  There are so many callbacks to both the 40s SSoV and Wein's JLA #100-102 in Morrison's series, that they have to be seen together as a Trilogy.

 

I recently found a birthday card from a few years ago that still had the money in it as a present, so I decided to spend it on something I'll be glad to have - my first Archive!  I signed for it just now, and I'm very excited!

 

Anyway, I might come back here with some comments if I have anything to add to the above as I read.  Meanwhile I'd just urge anyone who liked the 40s SSoV, but hasn't read Morrison's take on them yet, to think about doing so.  The latter is very much a continuation of the former, in many ways.

I have read Morrison's Seven Soldiers, someday I hope to gather enough brain cells together at one time to comment intelligently on it.

I' ve just noticed that my last comment itself was the 'third one in a trilogy'.  So you must have read it since April 11 2011, then Baron?  You must have liked the little shout outs to the 40s series, at least?

Issue one:  The Baron says:

 

Anyway, the Vigilante makes the scene. I note that he wears the same clothes as Greg Sanders - to become the Vigilante he just pulls his neckerchief up!

 

It's even weirder than that.  The previous pics show him in his cowboy gear but no mask and then the next picture shows him with the same clothes and face-scarf, while saying "It's great to get out of those dude clothes!"

 

Ah well.  I love the idea of a superhero wearing practical, non-skintight - but still iconic - clothes.  His sixguns actually mean that the Vigilante is perhaps the most powerful of these guys in a fight, or in a tight spot. He's probably the neatest/coolest/gnarliest of these characters. (Select your decade!)  Maybe he's just got the whole Clint Eastwood thing going on?

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