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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collection of DC War Comics
A collection of war romances about four "out of luck" soldiers: Johnny Cloud, an Indian and air force pilot, Captain Storm, an ex-PT boat captain, and Gunner and Sarge, two marines. Each of these have lost men that were under their command, and thus, consider himself out of luck. They meet accidentally in Jeb Stuart's Haunted Tank (G.I. Combat #138) and later start their...
Published on June 3, 2012 by Elvin Ortiz

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Losears
I had read only 1/4 of book and loved the stories. The art work is good only it's in black and white.
For the price and all those stories GREAT
Published 19 months ago by oscar s ruiz


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collection of DC War Comics, June 3, 2012
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
A collection of war romances about four "out of luck" soldiers: Johnny Cloud, an Indian and air force pilot, Captain Storm, an ex-PT boat captain, and Gunner and Sarge, two marines. Each of these have lost men that were under their command, and thus, consider himself out of luck. They meet accidentally in Jeb Stuart's Haunted Tank (G.I. Combat #138) and later start their adventures as a team in Our Fighting Forces #123, always accepting missions because they've got nothing to lose. This tome collects their adventures until OFF #150. The stories are written by Robert Kanigher, and although I missed the poetic language from his stories in Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank, his creative powers are still at work, mixing humor, romance, and psychological drama with action-packed plots.

The team is headquartered in London and they see action in every place affected by WWII, including London under bombardment. They visit France, Norway, the Pacific, India, and even North Africa. Although these stories follow an anti-hero formula, where bad luck pursues them everywhere they go, these four heroes share traits similar to those of Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank's crew. They are courageous and they have an indomitable will to accomplish their mission even when they see the odds are against them. In addition, they are loyal to each other. These qualities are highlighted the more when everything seems to turn against them.

Although these stories may be formulaic, Kanigher shows he can vary formulas a bit. At times, a Loser may suffer from survivor's guilt. We see this vividly with Johnny Cloud in Ride the Nightmare (January 1971) and with Captain Storm in Half a Man (May 1971). Romance is at the heart of war in Angel's over Hell's Corner (September 1970), where an American pilot falls for an English nurse; The Last Charge (April 1974), where Johnny Cloud marries an Arab woman while fighting in the desert; and A Bullet for a Traitor (June 1974), where Ona's romance with a German soldier and a Norwegian prisoner are part of a secret from the past.

Ona, by the way, is a female character created by Kanigher to join the Losers during a mission in Norway in Death Picks a Loser (January 1972). In this issue Captain Storm supposedly dies, and Ona joins the team to compensate for this personal sacrifice. Perhaps, Kanigher wanted to add a more interesting dimension to his team. Perhaps later, he discovers that there isn't a role for her in the Losers and decides to eliminate her without killing her. She appears for the last time in A Bullet for a Traitor, amidst a romantic triangle, being discovered by Gunner after months of disappearance, and Gunner ends up thinking that she may have become a traitor. Was Kanigher going to move forward with this plot? or was this his way of saying good bye to a character who may have added little to the Losers?

Kanigher also adopts the strategy of running on his stories beyond one issue, something which he seldom did with Sgt. Rock, and only started doing with The Haunted Tank in the seventies. In the stories following Captain Storm's alleged death in Death Picks a Loser until The Bad Penny (January 1973), the Losers accomplish different missions, but the loss of Captain Storm and the presence of a wild pirate with a wooden leg and an eye patch become the thread that connects these issues together. Of course, when the reader sees this pirate, he or she must be wondering how come the Losers can't figure out who this pirate is. But it is the world of comics. If Superman writers can get away with simple eye glasses, I guess Kanigher enjoys the same right. Another major thread starts with Diamonds are for Never (June 1973) and end in Mark Our Graves (August 1974). In these stories, the Losers are sent to North Africa to accomplish a mission of getting some diamonds that are important to the enemy, but they fail, and instead they get sidetracked over and over, going through a series of adventures in the desert, fighting along a French major in a deserted French garrison (A Flag for Losers-October 1973), a mad English major and former movie actor who has lost his men and now believes that he is living one of his war movies (The Glory Road-February 1974) an Arab tribe (The Last Charge-April 1974),and two survivors from a Jewish brigade (Mark Our Graves-August 1974). Like Ulysses in the Odyssey, the Losers move from one war scenario to the next without any end in sight. These stories are perhaps darker than the earlier ones, but they do not move from the heroic spirit that is at the heart of Kanigher.

Most of the stories are illustrated by John Severn (1971-1974) and Ross Andru (March 1970-May 1971). Russ Heath is responsible for the Haunted Tank issue and Ken Barr for the first Losers adventure. Each illustrator is commended for their realistic drawings of characters and war scenarios. As usual, Kubert draws the covers always with a sense of irony that makes us want to move on into the story. If you like war stories don't miss this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great art for DC war title, April 23, 2012
This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
I didn't think I'd like this as much as I do the Sgt. Rock Showcase volumes but one thing that lifts this book to that level is the art. Joe Kubert only did the covers on these comics but the interior work is not a drop-off. Russ Heath drew the first story combining these characters, then Andru/Esposito did a few, all to be topped by John Severin's art on more than half this book.
Yes,there is a formula to the stories by Kanigher but the book is worth it for John Severin fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winning Tribute: The Losers, May 21, 2012
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
DC Showcase presents The Losers is a great graphic compilation of 450 pages of Our Fighting Forces. Robert Kanigher's stories are fun and rollicking especially with the adventuresome, detailed artwork by Ross Andru, John Severin, and of course, Joe Kubert. A fine coffee table book that will bring hours of enjoyable reading. The Losers are four G.I.s assigned to special missions. There's Capt. Storm (an ex PT boat captain who lost his crew and his leg), Johnny Cloud (ace fighter pilot who lost his squadron), Sarge and Gunner (who lost their company of raw recruits), thus named: THE LOSERS. If you love World War II sagas, you'll love these four misfits and their adventures.

Other fun DC Showcase classics that I would like to recommend are Showcase Presents: Haunted Tank, Vol. 2, andShowcase Presents: Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1 which are all equally as good.

and the Marvel Comics Essential Essential Ant Man, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials).

If you want hours of fun reading, pick up these collections.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Overall good stories, January 1, 2014
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
The stories get better as the volume goes forward. A few early issues are a bit predictable, but as the stories get longer they are more well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most enjoyable DC Showcase editions so far!!, August 21, 2013
This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
I enjoyed every issue of this Showcase edition. A lot of internet fans bash DC Comics, but the main reason I have always liked DC over Marvel is the fact that DC has at least made an effort to produce comics outside of superheros. The Losers shine. The artwork is spectacular, and the writing is excellent. This classic DC WWII book is right under DC Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier for the BEST WWII comics ever produced. Johnny Cloud is by far my favorite Loser character. I really wish the second LOSER DC Showcase was already in print!! Until then I will be purchasing the Jack Kirby The Losers book in hardcover.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Losers win big, July 31, 2013
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
DC showcase has been doing a wonderful job of bringing back the heroes forgotten by a generation or two. Back in the day not all comics were yarns about spandex clad supermen showcasing the power of the month. Some comics were about real men fighting against the odds and doing what it takes to get the job done.

The Losers seem to be good at killing the enemy while failing the mission. There are many stories in here that will suprise because the good guys don't always win... sometimes there losers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Piece of Nostalgia., January 15, 2013
By 
William R. Hancock (Travelers Rest, S.C. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
Being a "dinosaur" I grew up on Dell, DC, Gold Key, Marvel, and Charlton comics and these DC Showcase pieces bring back a lot of great memories for me. This volume, The Losers, was a title that combined characters from several different DC battle series into a unified story line. The combining didn't really make any logical sense to me at the time---still doesn't-----but, my attitude was always one of "What the heck! It's only a COMIC BOOK!". Originally, DC had a long running series of stories about two marines in the South Pacific, "Gunner" and "Sarge", and their combat adventures against the Japanese (many times against a relentless "Col. Tanaka"). They were frequently aided by a white german shepherd k-9 "troop" called "Pooch" (go figure). Another series in another DC comic was "PT Boat skipper", Captain (Bill) Storm, who lost one of his legs in action and became a prosthetic-legged swabbie---still commanding P.T. boats---who stayed in service rather than being discharged and sent home. Yet another contemporary series involved Capt. Johnny Cloud, the "Navajo Ace", who went to war in the sky as a representative of his people in Arizona and who, as a fighter pilot, traded the four footed Mustang he'd ridden growing up on the reservation for a FLYING "Mustang" (a P-51) with a Rolls Royce Merlin engine. At some point the "powers-that-be" at DC decided to consolidate these characters and created a "special missions" force incorporating them...the so-called "Losers" (the rationale behind this has always escaped me). It must be said, though, that the Losers stories were always entertaining (even if far fetched) and you got some good art in the package with them, especially when the great John Severin became their regular artist. Another DC WWII series---"Big Al, Little Al, & Charlie Cigar"---didn't make the Losers cut and finally ended up being REAL losers, LOL!
The only thing that always left one scratching one's head in this series had to do with Capt. Storm. In the stories it was always being said that he was "outranked" by Capt. Johnny Cloud, but it was often hard to get a handle on this. Storm was a NAVAL officer and, in the Navy, the term "captain" can be ambiguous. There is a TITLE, "Captain", that is given to any man who commands a maritime vessel; a boat or ship's "captain", either naval or civilian. There is also the Naval RANK of Captain, which falls just below that of ADMIRAL, and is generally equivalent to "bird" Colonel. The sense of the likelihood of Bill Storm's "captaincy" is that it is a command title and his actual rank is that of Lieutenant (J.G.) or Lieutenant. If it is the latter then he is the same rank (03) as Johnny Cloud. The equivalences are always foggy with DC. Thing is---he KEEPS being identified as CAPTAIN. This gets hinky when the Losers get "seconded" to some Brit MAJOR, who is deemed their "superior officer". Not if Storm IS a captain, he's not. I must ASSUME---always did---that Storm is a Naval LIEUTENANT, equivalent in rank to Cloud, but with just less Time-In-Grade. Confusions apart, the Loser stories are entertaining and great fun for all. And, Oh, that Severin ART!!!!

BTW....another DC confusion (and inconsistency) involves the name of the commander of "The Haunted Tank" in another old series reprinted in "Showcase" editions. In the original story---first one or two in the series----he is named SMITH----Jeb Stuart SMITH----after the Civil War confederate cavalry general. However, in short enough order, his SMITH surname gets DROPPED ENTIRELY and from then on he is just Jeb STUART. Whew! Comic books will drive you crazy!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Losears, April 28, 2013
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This review is from: Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics) (Paperback)
I had read only 1/4 of book and loved the stories. The art work is good only it's in black and white.
For the price and all those stories GREAT
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Showcase Presents: The Losers Vol. 1 (Showcase Presents Library of Classics)
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