Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Buried Treasure: Tales of the Green Beret

With the success of Robin Moore's war novel, Tales of the Green Beret, in the mid-1960s, the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate decided to adapt the story as a comic strip about a member of the U.S. special forces serving in Vietnam. Originally offered to Neal Adams to draw, he suggested DC's foremost war artist, Joe Kubert, would be a better choice for the star-spangled feature. After a few try-out dailies, Moore's gritty story lines coupled with Kubert's equally piercing illustrations was a hit as the strip debuted in the early months of 1966. The story revolved around a tough talking cigar-chomping Lieutenant Ross and his special commando unit based in Vietnam. Not wanting to pull any punches, the creative team presented  the horrors of war in full force, burning villages, savage Vietcong guerrillas fire fights, and fleeing civilians were common place in this serious war strip. As the feature promoted the heroism of the American soldiers in Vietnam, the war at home was growing more unpopular with the U.S. public. In response to the change of the national mood, Kubert quit the strip in late 1967, and was replaced by John Celardo who continued on until its cancellation in 1969.


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