Marines are imbalanced?

#1 Edited by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio

again, i'm a greenhorn, so any violations of the local sop let me know, i'll fix. 
 
i've been reading comics on and off for around 18 yrs, and been a Marine for 5. what i've noticed over these past years is that a majority of the superheroes that have any history with the Corps are generally an imbalanced, hyperviolent and possibly psychotic. i reviewed the page on the Corps and saw the relationships, but outside of WW2, most prior Marines fit this bill. i'm assembling a list of Marines in comics for my junior Marines who are developing interest in the four color world.  below is my list so far of comic book characters including some of the more modern members from the comic vine page. 
  
baines, axel - getting there 
blake, william (glowworm) - fits 
cash, cole (grifter) - getting there (assuming he is Marine from eagle globe and anchor tattoo he had in morrison's book) 
castle, frank (punisher) - fits  
custer, john - exception
farris, jorn (beserker) - fits  
jordan, hal (green lantern from red son) - fits
payne, eric simon (devil-slayer) - fits 
proudstar, john (thunderbird) - was getting there 
reid, david (magog) - fits  
rhodes, james (war machine) - getting there   
simpson, frank (nuke) - fits   
spector, mark (moon knight) - fits  
stewart, john (green lantern) - exception  
   
questions: 

1. can anyone address why there is this trend or has noticed this as well? 
2. also can you please add to this list if you know of anymore characters who were prior Corps? 

#2 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio

didn't know how to post links to comicvine pages for characters any assistance on that?

#3 Posted by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin: Just highlight where you want to put the link, then click on the little link thing beside the Insert button. You can then put in a url or find that characters page on this site. Example
#4 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@Decoy Elite: thanks brother.
#5 Posted by JediXMan (31312 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see a problem with War Machine and John Stewart (though I don't read War Machine). Frank Castle's condition seems... justified, I suppose is a good word.
 
But I do agree. It seems people in the military are shown in a somewhat bad light sometimes.

Moderator
#6 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@JediXMan: john stewart was marked as an exception to the rule, whereas war machine is getting there. i don't think it's the entire military that gets a bad light for the most part mainly Marines. it might be because i'm biased, but the army and air force had a pretty good record (cpt America (barnes and rogers), cpt atom). whereas the navy, outside of the SEAL community, is more often than not neglected. 
 
...on second thought, there is gen eiling and gen ross.
#7 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

when I think of imbalanced members of the armed forces my thoughts go straight to Bill Everette...however, I admit I have little understanding of the division between the sects of the military and I've no idea if he's army or marines but he fought in the horrid environment of Vietnam as did John Custer (who is on your list)

Moderator
#8 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio

he's a Marine not a soldier. Thanks for the addition chief.

#9 Posted by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio

Wolverine could count. This is a disturbing trend......it seems like quite a few comics are anti military.

#10 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: totally agree with you. but when they needed him to be said characteristics in Red Son, he belonged to the Green Lantern Marine Corps.
#11 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio

Worth noting that Magog only fit this when Gog made him his herald or whatever. Before that he was relatively normal.

#12 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@AtPhantom: didn't know that. never really followed magog outside of kingdom come. his solo any good?
#13 Posted by DeathinFire (272 posts) - - Show Bio

Dude, take it from an Army vet.  That's just our reputation.  I know it's bad, I get it almost every day.  People look at us as "the crazy guy".  It sucks.  The other day I was at school (studying Automotive Collision Repair), and I was looking for a tool.  I was calm, but I had asked repeatedly "where's a spreader?".  Just walking around asking everyone if they had seen this particular tool.  Some fat guy is all like "He's gonna freak out.  Good thing there's no guns in here".  Stupid A-Hole.  I guess you're still in, but when you get out you'll probably get it too.  Don't mean to sound like a wet blanket but it's how it is most places.  I could also mention examples of recent movies (*cough*Avatar*cough*) where it seems like the Military are the heartless bad guys who aren't even human that oppress and violate some sort of peaceful community.  It seems more and more people think of us as "unbalanced".  Maybe I'm just being sensitive to the subject, but I don't always like people thinking of me as some kind of psychopath who can't control his anger.  Often I try to hide the fact to people I meet that I'm even a veteran.  Like, I got off active and now I'm in the Reserves but I don't shave or cut my hair until right before I report.  Mostly I just try to blend in.
#14 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@DeathinFire: i don't blame you on trying to go lowpro. it's good opsec anyway. where are you from? i don't get a lot of that, other than dumb questions about how many people have i killed? i mean i hear all the old jokes about Marines being bullet sponges, but generally folks are courteous. yeah my sister, who just commissioned as MedO, told me to not even bother watching avatar.
 
oh adding - brashear, adam (blue marvel) - exception
#15 Posted by AtPhantom (14521 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin said:
" @AtPhantom: didn't know that. never really followed magog outside of kingdom come. his solo any good? "
No idea. I'm going off solely by his appearances in JSA. I heard it's good though.
#16 Posted by Korg (11931 posts) - - Show Bio

A lot of characters from the military who are imbalanced became that way after they were already out of the service. Frank Castle is a prime example. He was a perfectly normal veteran. He had a wife and kids. Nothing wrong there. He only tuned into a mass-murdering vigilante after his family was gunned down by the mob. 
 
Also, Cole Cash (Grifter) was never a marine. He was part of a special ops unit called Team 7, which was run by a fictional entity called International Operations.

#17 Edited by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg: yeah i read about cole cash. just from his tattoo in the morrison run. you don't normally get that unless you are prior service. 
 
i don't read 616 punisher much, so i was going off his hinted mental instability from the MAX titles.
#18 Posted by DeathinFire (272 posts) - - Show Bio
@Korg said:
"A lot of characters from the military who are imbalanced became that way after they were already out of the service. Frank Castle is a prime example. He was a perfectly normal veteran. He had a wife and kids. Nothing wrong there. He only tuned into a mass-murdering vigilante after his family was gunned down by the mob. 
 
Also, Cole Cash (Grifter) was never a marine. He was part of a special ops unit called Team 7, which was run by a fictional entity called International Operations. "

In Punisher Born (Ennis) it shows Castle losing it during his third tour of Vietnam at Firebase Valley Forge.  They hint that some kind of evil supernatural force influences him and guides him to killing people.  Although it's just a voice in his head and it could still be him.  They go on to say that he's "running out of war" and that he doesn't want the war to end.
#19 Posted by DeathinFire (272 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin:
I'm from the St. Louis area, but I was stationed at Ft. Carson, CO when I was in.  Now there's a good reason to join the Army.
#20 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@DeathinFire: no s-t? my wife's sister met her two ex's, both soldiers, in that area. figured there'd be more love there. guess military towns just get tired of us.
#21 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

Leatherneck and Gung Ho from GI Joe are both fairly mellow guys, and certainly no more powerful than any other member of the team.  I'm talking the comic incarnation of both characters, of course.  I don't think anyone involved with the tv show has ever actually met a Marine.
 
But yeah, for most writers it seems like 'Marine' is just an easy way of giving a character the 'tough-guy' stamp.  I suppose we have the stellar performances in Full Metal Jacket to thank for that.  With the accolades that Hurt Locker got, it wouldn't surprise me if we'll soon be up to our knees in E.O.D. characters before too long.

#22 Posted by Paracelsus (1280 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno, but I've heard it said that Marines as the most "gung-ho"branch of the US military tend to produce zealots and fanatics such as Oliver North(NB this doesn't seem to apply to their British counterparts, HM Royal Marines). 
 
Terry
#23 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@Paracelsus: we are known as the most gung-ho, but i think it's been grossly oversimplified and perverted in comics. gung-ho for your brothers in arms is different to me than the line Marine superheroes cross.
#24 Edited by jamesewelch (608 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey, I'm also a former Marine (0261) and I tend to notice the pattern as well. I guess we're all a little bit more sensitive than those who didn't serve. You're list also forgot to show the huge list of GI Joe characters that were/are Marines. They actually do a good job in that series with military personnel (not the cartoon, that's just funny stuff). I especially liked the older stuff from Larry Hama and the re-released GI Joe: Real American Hero that just restarted a couple of weeks ago.
 
Some more
 

 
GI Joe (comic books, not cartoon)
 
I believe that the reason behind stereotyping former Marines as a bit maladjusted is to simplify the story for the reader. Since it's been done in movies, tv, novels, and comic books, once you tell a reader that the guy is a former Marine that's lost it, the writer doesn't need to do more backstory. It's a lazy way of creating a story without getting bogged down with the details.
#25 Edited by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@jamesewelch: i definitely feel you and that writers being lazy portion does make sense. thanks for the entries brother, that queen character seems pretty interesting. you know in my entire career, the only time ive actually had an 0200 MOS in the 2 shop was in country. Are you guys that rare a commodity or something, haha? 
 
i forgot about the joes.
#26 Posted by jamesewelch (608 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin: In my job, there were only about 180 total. about 3platoons of 30ish in Pendleton, Lejuene, and Okinawa each, and a few dozen scattered. In the last 5 years or so (after I left), most have been pulled up to MEF support instead of at the SRIG level (which I don't think exists anymore)
#27 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@jamesewelch: that's interesting. i dunno about SRIG, never had to deal with them. i stay organic and msc side mostly. how's the 1stcivdiv? why'd you EAS, it stop being fun?
#28 Edited by jamesewelch (608 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin:  SRIG was a like a Battalion in the late 90s, but much smaller, just had Force Recon, Intel, and stuff (Surveillance Recon Intel Group). I left because I wanted a new challenge and do something else.  Our units had a very low retention rate after about 3 1/2 years stationed at Pend, I only knew like 1 or 2 guys to re-enlist and about a dozen or so left during that time. Of my graduating class (about year long school) of around 14, I only know of 1 that reenlisted.
#29 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@jamesewelch: pendleton?! get out of here! i'm on okinawa and all the Marines here do is pine for cali. my gunny said if okinawa, my unit, esp was his first unit, he would never have reenlisted. haha. i think you may have broken the hearts of a 100 or more oki rats.  so you were intel but worked like counterintel or an anglico man? the 02's i worked with just printed and read maps and gave us the forecast of the ao: weather and otherwise.
#30 Posted by jamesewelch (608 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin:  I was one of those "map" guys that made maps. Nope, I didn't work with anglico. I did work with counter intel/translators, normal intel, snipers, SEALs, etc. while on the MEU (our MEU intel chief Gunny was former sniper, so we bypassed a lot of the bureaucracy and worked directly with them on some things). For the most part, if us map makers were just on base, we handed out maps because all of training areas and known areas have already been mapped. We only got to do our real job when we deployed and went on MEUs. Then there might be a chance of something, non-training, could happen and we could actually do something. Other than that happening, 99% of the guys just sat around bored to death. There's probably a little more action nowadays, but back when I was in there wasn't much going on other than Bosnia which we didn't really get involved in.
#31 Posted by gunjin (714 posts) - - Show Bio
@jamesewelch: cool. what meus did you float with? you sounded a little hostile at the maps comment. didn't mean any offense brother.
#32 Posted by jamesewelch (608 posts) - - Show Bio
@gunjin: no offense taken. I just did one westpac with the 15th.
#33 Posted by Paracelsus (1280 posts) - - Show Bio

This attitude towards US Marines( and by extension the entire US military, irrespective of branch) as some kind of "knuckle dragging, borderline psychopaths with a taste for blood" ( pace "Act of Valor") seems to be an unfortunate hangover from the Vietnam War- in my own country (UK), Royal Marines (along with other branches of HM Forces) are respected to the point of being revered!

Terry

#34 Posted by joshmightbe (24757 posts) - - Show Bio

Most of these guys you mentioned have been through some pretty awful s**t that turned them crazy some of which could probably be PTSD related some were probably a bit off before joining up but there are quite a few characters who were soldiers that didn't go crazy. John Stewart is a bit of a hard ass but that's not really a bad thing for a Marine to be, Punisher was the sole survivor of a pretty brutal massacre in Vietnam and that was followed up by his family being murdered in front of him so his has less to do with being a Marine than it does with him just having terrible luck on an epic and tragic scale.

#35 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (35125 posts) - - Show Bio

hmmm

Online

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.