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Weird War Tales

A Mirror For Monsters

chasing after the Commandos

(in Weird War Tales #110, April 1982)

Myrna Rhodes was a medical doctor working at the government facility responsible or creating the Creature Commandos. The Creature Commandos were a group of three soldiers who were made to look like and have similar abilities to a werewolf, a vampire, and a Frankenstein monster in order to sow fear in the ranks of the Nazi forces they would be sent into battle against.

When the Commandos' commanding officer, Lt Shrieve, was badly injured in battle, he was brought to her for treatment. Even as badly wounded as he was, Shrive still kept up his stream of cruel insults against his subordinates. Myrna stepped in and defended them against his insults.

the accident

The Commandos were actually rooting for Shrive to be scarred for life so he'd look like a 'freak' like what he always told them they were. Myrna was able to completely reconstruct his face though, and make him look just as normal as he always had. He, of course, took the opportunity to pile on more insults against the Commandos. The Commandos, feeling desperate, asked Myrna if she could use her skills as a plastic surgeon to help them and she had to tell them that she was unable to. That was the last straw, and it had them fumbling and stumbling out of the room in their despair.

joining the team

Concerned, Myra chased after them to tell them that Shrive wasn't right, that they were people just like anyone else and that they shouldn't be ashamed. In their haste though, the Commandos knocked over a cart of experimental chemicals and Myrna got covered with them.

She was rushed away by the medical staff, and, when she woke up, she found herself with snakes growing from her head instead of hair, so that she looked just like the Medusa of Greek myth.

Because of her new appearance, no one would let her be their doctor, so she lost her job. Seeing no other course of action, she offered to join up with the Creature Commandos unit as Doctor Medusa.

Note: In subsequent, post Crisis on Infinite Earths stories, her codename would be shortened from Doctor Medusa to simply Medusa.

The Doomsday Robots

creatures inhabiting fairy tales

(in Weird War Tales #111, May 1982)

Shortly after her transformation, the first mission her team went on was a visit to the children's ward at a local hospital. Lt. Shrieve thought that seeing 'the freaks' and having them put on a scary show would cheer the kids up. The kids were cheered up alright, but he was the butt of the joke, not his team. The kids were wowed by the Myrna and her team and thought they were amazing, while they thought Shrieve was a world-class jerk for calling them names.

After the show, Myrna and her team visited with the kids one-on one, signed casts, and did their best to cheer the kids up.

Shrieve left them to their own devices for a little while while he was being briefed on a new mission. Myrna and Lucky went walking in the park then, and Myrna saw a couple kissing. She lamented that that sort of life could never be hers now.

When Shrieve came back, they shipped out on their next mission. They were sent to investigate some attacks on Allied forces on the pacific ocean. They flew out by plane and were attacked by a large flying dinosaur. Their plane went down, but Velcro managed to kill the dinosaur and they all were able to swim clear of the wreckage before the plane went down.

It was then a sea monster attacked, but they were saved by J.A.K.E.1 (the first G.I. Robot) in a life raft. they got on board the raft, but no sooner had they done so than a giant flying Colosseum-like city came of from the ocean, captured them, and took them down below.

I am not a gorgon, Lemurian robot man!

As they went down, Shrieve suffered a panic attack, but still managed to insult J.A.K.E.1 even while he was panicking about not having enough air. Myrna told Shrieve that his panic attack was all in his head, that they had plenty of air, and then told J.A.K.E.1 not to mind Shrieve, that he was raised by hyenas (a joke on her part, as far as we know).

When they met the ones who'd captured them, they found out they were an off-shot of ancient Atlantian civilization who had founded a civilization of their own called Lemuria. Because of Myrna's appearance, they accused her of being one of their ancient enemies, the gorgons. Myrna attempted to use her gaze to turn one to stone, and when it didn't work, she offered that as proof that she wasn't truly a gorgon.

The Lemurian leader laughed it off, explaining that his people had long ago transferred their consciousness into robot bodies that were impervious to such magic. (Note: Dr. Medusa doesn't have the power to turn anyone who looks at her to stone, and this in the only time in her appearances in the Weird War Tales series where it's hinted at that she might be able to do it by will. Whether she could or not isn't known, though in some of her post-Crisis on Infinite Earths stories, she does have an ability that's somewhat similar.)

A battle ensues, and the team, along with J.A.K.E.1, beats the Lemurians. J.A.K.E.1 sacrifices his life to destroy the flying city though. In the life rafter afterwards, Shrieve calls Myrna a freak for crying over a robot. She tells Shrieve that the world owes a debt to J.A.K.E.1 and she wonders if they will ever see his like again.

The Medusa Sting

finding the queen's tomb

(In Weird War tales #112, June 1982)

The Creature Commandos' next mission takes Myrna and her team to the Kasserine Pass in North Africa to battle Rommel's Afrika Korps. Upon arrival, their plane is shot down and they have to take cover inside a nearby pyramid.

inside, they find the tomb of a previously unknown ancient Egyptian queen, who, as it turns out, was a gorgon with snakes for her hair, much like Myrna has now. She remarks that it's as if she's this ancient queen's modern day reincarnation.

Griffith spots an urn full of wine and he convinces the other guys on the team to drink it with him, only Myrna refuses. On the way out of the burial chamber, unseen by anyone, the dead gorgon queen's eyes follow them as they leave.

a... small predicament

Upon emerging back out into the sun, the effects of the wine are made clear: Lucky, Griffin, Velcro, and Shrieve are all shrunk down to the size of miniature figurines!

Myrna has to carry them in her hair to where they're going, and when they get there, she tells them that she's going to have to compete the mission herself. She leaves them nearby, takes her machine gun, and heads down to the enemy camp, firing her weapon.

Her team isn't willing to just do nothing though,s o they find a machine gun of their own and, together, mange to operate it and give Myrna cover as she takes on the enemy.

The battle is won, but the team is still left tiny. They come to find out later that, somehow, the venom from Myrna's snakes is the cure for the curse, lending credence to there being some kind of connection between Myrna and the ancient Egyptian queen (what that connection might be exactly is left a mystery).

Circus of Madness

a small yet painful tragedy

(in Weird War Tales #114, Aug 1982)

Myrna and her team go on a mission to rescue a nuclear physicist, Professor LeClair, and his daughter Colette LeClair. They get there too late though, and find the professor gone, taken to a Nazi concentration camp. They were able to rescue Colette though, and take her back with them.

They return back to base next, and Myrna has the opportunity to go to a nearby park for a while for some time alone in a peaceful spot (wearing her turban of course, so her snakes aren't showing). While she's there, a woman comes up to her hand asks her to look after her young daughter for a little bit while she goes to get ice cream from a vendor. She joyfully accepts, finding momentary happiness in such a essentially normal thing.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

When the woman returns though, and Myrna hands her daughter back, the child grabs her turban and it's yanked off by accident. The mother is horrified and runs away with her daughter, leaving Myrna to cry by herself.

A short time later, they are sent out on a mission again, this time going under cover as a troupe of circus freaks to sneak into the heart of Nazi Germany and rescue Professor LeClair before the Nazis can learn of his true identity and torture from him the secrets he knows.

it's no easy thing for Myrna or any of her team to go through being laughed at by Nazis, but they endure it and rescue the professor. He is very grateful to them, and tells Myrna that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that, to him, Myrna and all of her team are beautiful. That makes her smile, and they head home to reunite the professor with his daughter.

You Can't Pin A Metal On A Robot

(in Weird War Tales #115, Sept 1982)

J.A.K.E.2, the new version of the G.I. Robot, on R&R after a recent mission, meets Princess Dana of England and befriends her. She invites his friends, the Creature Commandos, for a visit to her castle in Scotland and throws a dinner party for them. Myrna observes Dana and J.A.K.E.2 on a balcony together and wonders if it's possible that feelings could have developed between them. Dana is subsequently kidnapped by Nazis, and Myrna and her team help save her.

Doorway To Hell

(in Weird War Tales #116, Oct 1982)

Myrna and her team head to Sicily in Greece for their next mission. The Axis powers are stick piling weapons in the area, and it's their mission to find the weapons and destroy them before the Allies attack, which is to happen soon.

They head in low over the water in a small camouflaged glider, but they are still discovered by a pair of enemy fighter plane and fired on. Velcro and Lucky are able to take down the planes before they can shoot Myrna and the others down though and they make it to their destination and land in one piece, though Lucky apparently dies in his effort.

pleading with Inferna

Lt Shrieve sends Myrna out, with her head covered, to do some recon. She's captured by a few Nazi soldiers who are rounding up attractive women for shameful reasons, but when a Nazi officer come over to her and takes off her turban to see her 'beautiful hair', he gets quite a shock! Myrna is able to use the opportunity to steal one of their jeeps and make her escape.

She runs into a tank while making her getaway though, and, happily, Lucky shows up to help her, destroying the tank with brute force. The two of them then head back to the temple that the others had taken shelter in.

When they get there, they find a giant woman made of flames named Inferna. Inferna is the Greek goddess of fire, the daughter of Persephone and Hades, who is made of fire and purported by legend to have no heart. Throughout history, she's taken hansom me to be her lover, but is always unable to be with them becasue her flames kill them. This time, she intends to take Shrieve for her own. Myrna talks with her though and convinces her not to.

So Inferna leaves, but before she does, she asks Myrna how she can weep if she has no heart. Myrna tells her that without a heart, she could not weep. Inferna laments her fate, and Myrna sympathizes with her.

The weapons are found in Inferna's temple, and the team destroys them. Their mission complete, they head home.

A Miracle For Monsters

(in Weird War Tales #117, Nov 1982)

While visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Myrna and the other Commandos witness a very young girl named Babette fall over the edge of the tower's railing. Velcro dives over after her, changing into a bat and saving her from certain death.

attacked by the French police

Myrna and the others race down to the ground where they find Velcro under attack by the French police who want to kill him becasue they see him as a monster menacing a young child. Myrna draws Velcro's attackers' attention by revealing her snakes, but when the police attack her, Lucky attacks them and nearly hurts them very badly. Myrna is able to talk him down from doing that, and Lt. Shrieve intervenes in his usual vulgar way to stop the fight. He's got a big smile on his face though, becasue the transfer he'd requested had come though and he wasn't going to have to be their commander anymore.

Initially, Myrna and the others were pretty happy about the development too, because it meant they wouldn't have to put up with Shrieve's constant insults anymore, but when they reported to command to find out who their new commanding officer was going to be, they found out that it was a volunteer posting and no one else wanted the job, so they were placed on indefinite leave until a replacement could be found.

Left to their own devices, Myrna and Lucky went to see the Louvre museum for the day. Unfortunately, they were soon asked to leave becasue it was feared they would start a panic.

Velcro and Griffin had a similarly tough time out and about, and so, little while later, when the four of them meet up again, all of them are feeling like they're really tired of being treated the way they're usually treated by people... in other words, like freaks. Myrna had been reading this article in the paper, about a pilgrimage to the shine at Lourdes, where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary was supposed to have appeared to a peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous. Hundreds of people make the trip there every year on the 20th of August to pray for a miracle to heal them of their ills. Myrna suggests they should try going as well, since they don't have anything else to do, and the others agree.

When they get there though, they find the Nazis have taken the pilgrims hostage. They battle the Nazis, and, unexpectedly, Lt Shrieve shows up and helps them. The pilgrims are freed and Shrieve ends up taking his post back as their commanding officer, though, sadly, he's still the same guy with the same old cruel insults on the tip of his tongue.

Heroes Come In Small Sizes

giving away their metals to the blind children

(in Weird War Tales #118, Dec 1982)

In their down time, the Myrna and her team take a group of children from a home for the blind on a picnic in the south of Fontainbleau. All concerned are having a great time, when Erich Kunzer, a Nazi saboteur, and his cohorts drive up armed with automatic weapons in need of hostages to make their escape back to Germany. They take the blind children with them.

Myrna and her team go after them and rescue them, receiving metals for bravery for their deeds. Myrna though, decides on behalf of her team to give the metals to the children, saying that they deserved them more for being so brave in the ace of such danger.

World Under Glass

(in Weird War Tales #119, Jan 1983)

In London, Myrna and her team visit a wax museum on R&R and end up causing a stir and are asked to leave, causing them to again despair of ever being accepted by society.

The next day they are sent on another mission, this time deep into the heart of German occupied Italy to discover the fate of one of the Allies' most important Italian informants, codename: Alesso. They parachute in a mile out from the village of Ebola and walk to town, only to find the roads lined with villagers who've been hung to death and left out to instill fear in the remaining populace.

They find an old woman a short while later, about to be hung by Nazi soldiers. They save her and find out that she's, in fact, Alesso. Or, actually, Professor Alesso, an Italian scientist.

Thankfully, the Germans didn't know who they'd captured, and Myrna and her team were able to take the professor back to her home village where she could continue her work of spying on the Germans. The townspeople though shrank away from Myrna and her friends in fear, and so, when Professor Alesso showed her a time machine she had secretly invented in her basement, Myrna volunteered her team to be her test subjects to try it out, thinking that perhaps they could find the acceptance by society they sought in the future.

It didn't turn out that way at all though, as, ten centuries in the future, they find themselves in a world filled with giant blonde clones, where there was a template for men and one for women and everyone looked just alike in that way. They were sentenced to die fighting lions becasue they were different. They managed to escape back to their time machine and return home, and by the time she got home, Myrna was even happy to see Lt. Shrieve.

Death Smiles Thrice!

(in Weird War Tales #121, Mar 1983)

Myrna and her team go on a mission to Holland to take out a windmill the Nazis are using as a missile launching site to blow up Allied fighter planes and end up going up against Nazi robots disguised as regular Nazi soldiers. On the way, they apparently rescue three blond female triplets who claim to be freedom fighters who escaped a Nazi concentration camp. They turn out to be Nazi robots in disguise too though and they attack the team. Myrna blows them up with a grenade and the team completes the mission.

Sent Into Space

Myrna and her team were sent into space when they would no longer fight.

Creature Commandos

(in Creature Commandos #1-8 May-Dec 2000)

A new and different version of Myrna appears in this 8-issue series.

a whole new Myrna

Superman: New Krypton

meeting Superman

(in Action Comics #872, Feb 2009)

In a continuation of Myrna and her team's pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, Alura, Superman, and Supergirl find Myrna, Lucky, Velcro, Griffith, G.I Robot, and Lt Shrieve in suspended animation, having been taken prisoner by Brainiac at some point during their journey among the stars. It is revealed though, that they did visit several other alien planets before being taken captive.

They are just talking with the three Kryptonians when Brainiac's robots attack. Myrna and her team join in the battle against them.

What happens with them after that was never said.

Justice League: Generation Lost

(in Justice League: Generation Lost #15-16, Feb 2011)

A new version of Myrna is introduced, though not much is told about her personally or her team in general. She wears a partial face mask, is a highly trained fighter, and can fire energy blasts from her eyes that can lay out just about anyone who's exposed to them.

another new version of Myrna

Flashpoint

(in Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2, Sept 2011)

Myrna and her team (the pre-Crisis version of them) are mentioned only briefly as part of the back-story.

The New 52

Myrna and the rest of the Creature Commandos have not yet made any appearances in DC's New 52 continuity.

Animated Series

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2009-2011)

(in Season 3, Episode 12 "Four Star Spectacular!", Nov 2011)

Dr. Medusa in Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The Creature Commandos, including Dr. Medusa, were sent to Dinosaur Island to stop the Ultra-Humanite, an ally of the Axis powers, from sending a mind-controlled army of dinosaurs against the Allies. Dr. Medusa and her team were surrounded by dinosaurs when Batman showed up and caused a distraction, telling them they needed to destroy the remote control Humanite was using to control his dinosaurs.

The Commandos went into battle. Dr. Medusa bit a t-rex on the tongue and knocked it out with her venom and did this maneuver where she was thrown at a pterodactyl by one of her teammates and knocked it out in similar fashion.

The remote was destroyed, the battle won, Humanite defeated, and she and her team, along with Batman, headed off the island. On the way out, Lt. Shrieve was taking pictures of the dinosaurs and saying how the Allies could use them to win the war. Lucky smashed the camera and threw it into the ocean. When Shrieve shouted at him for doing it, Dr. Medusa explained that, yes, she and her team were made into monsters to help win the war, but they were human and had a choice about whether to fight or not. The dinosaurs were only animals though, and didn't have a choice like that, so she and her team weren't going to let them be used as weapons like Humanite had wanted to do.

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