Thursday, April 20, 2006

DC Movies: Here Comes Sgt. Rock!

Okay, forget about GIJoe. Put away Snake Eyes, Duke, Roadblock and Scarlett. Forget Nick Fury. Forget Shield, forget the Howling commandos and forget Dum Dum Dugan. Let's even forget Captain America and don't bring up the Punisher. In the 1960's and 70's DC Comics owned military machismo with it's own dark and dreary group of ass kicking yet somber War Comics series.

There was the "
Haunted Tank," the bizarre adventures of the ghost of Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart who protected his descendent, Sgt. Jeb Stuart and his (coincidently), "Stuart" tank crew.

The "Unknown Soldier," was a darker twist on "Captain America" in which a covert and always in disguise super soldier pops up just at the right time and place to do the dirty work for the USA. His only tell, a scratch at the neck to soothe the itch caused by his latex masks.

The cornerstone of DC's war comic brigade was unquestionably Sgt. Rock and his men of Easy Company. This wasn't Joes versus Cobra, shooting laser beams from shiny pretty colored hovercrafts, this was men kneeling in trenches lobbing grenades, wearing torn uniforms and praying to God not to die! By Today's standards, these comics weren't realistic, in that planes could be brought down by a well placed bullet and the Sarge's reckless traits (the precursor to the 80's Rambo-tastic hero never gets shot phenomena) would have killed him by the third page of issue one, but the darker themes of the pointlessness and devastation of war charged out of every somber page.

Warner Bros. and DC Comics seem to be on a role with Batman back and Supes and Wonder Woman on their here comes Sgt. Rock!!! I really wonder if a War Comic, based on War Movies can translate into a War Movie itself. Still, those gritty little stories of the Easy Company deserve a shot, let's hope they get a fair deal and a good cast.

Below, the Hollywood Reported fills us in:
(from HERE)

April 19, 2006

Cox locked up for WB's 'Rock' duty

John Cox has been hired to write "Sgt. Rock," an adaptation of DC Comics' World War II adventure series being produced by Joel Silver for Warner Bros. Pictures. Sgt. Frank Rock was the leader of his infantry unit, Easy Company. He first appeared in a 1959 issue of "Our Army at War." In 1977, with the character's steadily rising popularity, the comic was renamed "Sgt. Rock" and ran until 1988. The property has long been in development at Warners, with such scribes as Brian Helgeland, John Milius, David Peoples, Jeffrey Boam and Steven De Souza having tackled the adaptation.

You also might want to check out a review of an earlier script HERE!

Let's step over to the Wiki-a-tronic 5000:
(found HERE and HERE)

Sgt. Frank Rock is a DC Comics character who has been the most prominent war comics character in the company's history. He originally appeared in a strip in the comic book Our Army at War #81 in 1959 with his unit, Easy Company. The stories, written mainly by Robert Kanigher, and drawn by Joe Kubert, steadily gained popularity, until, in 1977, the name of the comic was changed to Sgt. Rock. The comic ran until Sgt. Rock # 422 released in July 1988.

During World War II, Sgt. Rock fought in the infantry branch of the U.S. Army in the European Theatre and eventually rose to authority within his unit, Easy Company. The unit was made up of a disparate collection of individuals who managed to participate in every major action in the European war. Rock's dogtag number was 409966, which had been, it was claimed, Robert Kanigher's own military serial number.

Sergeant Rock is heavily muscled in the classic depictions by Joe Kubert, and was generally shown with close cropped hair, generally red in color. The classic Rock was usually dressed in olive drab fatigues, with his shirt generally torn during combat to reveal his well muscled physique, with a .45 calibre Thompson submachine gun and .45 calibre Colt M1911A1 automatic pistol as his armament. Oddly, the classic artwork almost always depicts Rock with an M-1 Garand cartridge belt which would be useless to him, as well as two belts of .50 calibre ammunition, which Rock considers lucky charms.

Unlike many contemporary war characters, Rock had a deep loathing for the war, but was grimly loyal to his unit to see it through. This loyalty extends to when he was sent home to be a combat instructor, but insisted on returning to his unit in the field while on leave. Kanigher insisted late in the run of Sgt. Rock that the title character would not survive the war. The ultimate fate of Sgt. Frank Rock is a complicated story. According to legend, he was killed on the last day of the war by the last enemy bullet fired.

Kanigher also mused on possible movie portrayals of Rock, opining in the letters column of Sgt. Rock that Lee Marvin would be "laconic" enough to play the part (not to mention having played a similar character in the film The Big Red One.) Rumours were abundant in the late 1990s that Bruce Willis might portray Rock on the big screen, but to date no movie adaptation has come to light.

Easy Company is the name of a fictional comic book World War II US Army infantry unit led by Sgt. Rock in stories published by DC Comics. In the stories, the unit saw action in every combat zone in the European Theatre. Unlike actual units, the unit has at least one African-American member, which was in defiance of racial segregation policy of the Army.

The Skipper - Easy was always commanded by an officer, usually referred to by Rock as "the skipper" and holding the rank of captain. At least one company commander, a "retread", was shown in the rank of major.

Sergeant Frank Rock - the "topkick" or senior NCO, with the Rank of "Master Sergeant"

Bulldozer - A large, strong and not notably bright member, and Rock's second-in-command. Real name: "Horace Eustace Canfield"

Wildman - A History Professor before the war, noted for his bright red full beard. His nickname derives from turning into a "Wildman" when engaged in battle. Real Name: "Joseph Wildman Schapiro"

Jackie Johnson - an African-American trooper and ex-Heavyweight Champion, whose character was an amalgamation of Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. Notable as one of the first non-stereotypical African American Characters in comics.

Little Sureshot - A Native American who always decorates his helmet with some feathers

Ice Cream Soldier - A small soldier whose nicknames derive in part from being at his best in combat during cold weather, and in always being "cool in combat". Real name: Phil mason.

Four Eyes - A bespectacled soldier and ironically, one of Easy's best sharpshooters

Zack - Easy's original Bazooka man. Lost one arm in combat, but returned for a final mission.

Long Round and Short Round. Zack's replacements on the Bazooka, always working as a team.

Canary - A soldier known for always whistling in any circumstances not requiring silence.

Worrywart - A solid soldier, constantly worrying about whether his number was almost up.

This does not include anonymous replacements and one-time characters who are frequently killed off in the stories. Easy Company's Lieutenants, when they appear at all, are frequently killed off within the first few pages. Letters columns in the 1980s included a roster of all characters introduced into the series; several dozen character names were listed, including some anonymous soldiers.

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