I was lucky enough to be a seven year old when Hasbro introduced their G.I.Joe action figure line. I was a charter member of the G.I. Joe Club. And since my older brother was a Marine at the time the first Joe that I had was a Marine too. The first accessory that my Joe had was a flamethrower with back-tanks.So when I wasn't fighting an imaginary war with my Joe I could strap his back-tanks on and pretend he was Commando Cody. Eventually I got three other Joes and I would use them to play M.A.R.S Patrol.
M.A.R.S PATROL,TOTAL WAR first appeared on the stands in 1965.It was published by Gold Key and was originally titled TOTAL WAR with interior art by the great Wally Wood. Wood may also have played a hand in the creation of the series. There is no denying that the first three issues illustrated by Wood were magical. But even after he left the series the comic was a great deal of fun featuring the art by the likes of Jack Sparling and Dan Spiegle.
The comics told the story of an invasion of all the nations of the Earth by an unidentified attacker. It was implied at first and later confirmed in the series that the invader was from another world.The opposition to this enemy from space were the men from the M.A.R.S(Marine Attack and Rescue Service)Patrol. An elite squad from the U.S. Marine Corps. The series lasted a brief 10 issues running from July 1965 to August 1969. But that was long enough to bring the feature cult status to Silver Age comic book readers.
One of the interesting things about the M.A.R.S Patrol was that during the era of the Civil Rights struggle the members of the M.A.R.S team were very diversified.There were two Euro-Americans in Lt. Cy Adams, the units field commander and Cpl.Russ Stacy. Then there was Sgt.Joe Striker, an African-American and Sgt.Ken Hiro,an Asian-American.
It would remind me a bit of the diversified members of the first American Native-American, a Euro-American, and an African-American.
Olympic Judo Squad from 1964.That squad featured an Asian-American,
This was a great series from a time when it wasn't against the rules for American youth to play soldier.
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