JUSTICE LEAGUE - THE SAVAGE TIME

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Sergeant Rock Did you know that DC Comics had a team of heroes called the 'Freedom Fighters', who lived on an alternate Earth where Hitler won World War 2? It was depicted in two issues of the 1973 comic book, 'Justice League of America', in a story written by Len Wein and drawn by Dick Dillon. Oh! Wait a minute! I wonder if this hour long cartoon made in 2004 was inspired because of this fact!


Justice League - The Savage Times


THE STORY:
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if the Nazi's won World War 2? The Justice League don't have to. Because as soon as they arrive back on Earth after a trip into outer space, they notice straight away that the planet has been transformed into a tyrannical state, and is currently being opposed by a member of their very own team who was around whilst they were away -- the Batman.

OK, I'm sure that you will agree with me when I say that this does sound like a right turn up for the history books, doesn't it? Nonetheless, does it sound as peculiar as when the League then decide to travel back in time and combat this state of play on there own terms?

Admittedly, when I say 'own', they don't really do all of the furious fighting and rewriting 'on their own'. Of course not! Superman, Hawkgirl, and Flash, repel a pack of German jet fighters with some help from the air-born aviators known as the Blackhawk's. Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter make the acquaintance of super-spy, Steve Trevor, who is involved with a ploy to break a code and repel this invasion. Plus Green Lantern -- John Stewart -- joins the rag-tag group of solders called Sergeant Rock and Easy Company, after he looses the power from his ring and is blown behind enemy lines.
 
Oh! Wait a minute. I just remembered something I almost forgot to mention.

The man behind all of this is none other than the technological mastermind, Vandal Savage, who with some information given to him by his future self, has orchestrated this tyrannical horizon by altering this dubious past. 

Still, that's most probably why what next transpires all begins when the he declares war on America! As romance blossoms - army men don't act like possums - battles are fought - and you have to remember that all this shooting isn't done for naught.




THE REVIEW:
Whilst living in the present 'New 52' universe, I find that watching 'Justice League - The Savage Time', is a rather sad pursuit in retrospect. No. Fear not. This doesn't have anything to do with the quality of this cartoon. Far from it. It's great. Way above normal standards I'd say. Instead, it's because some of the hero's depicted in this adventure actually came from the World War 2 era, and this fact seems to have been long forgotten within this more retroactive time.

Superman once battled Adolf Hitler in Metropolis. Batman fought saboteurs over barabonds. And Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor spent quite a lot of there early years in and out of international disputes.


Sergeant Rock and Easy Company in Justice League - The Savage Times


Our Army At War
No. Don't worry. I have not forgotten about the other 'special guest-stars' in this story. The Blackhawk's and Vandal Savage have both been darting in and out of comic-dom since the early forties. Doing what ever they do best in their own amiable way. And as for Sergeant Rock and Easy Company on the other hand? Well? (1) 'Pittsburgh made' Sergeant Rock was created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert in 'Our Army At War' #84, June 1959. (2) Easy Company -- including 'The Rock' -- was created by Bob Haney and Ross Andru in 'Our Army at War' #81, April 1959. (3) Over the course of there history together, some of the members of 'Easy Company' included: Bulldozer, Bogman, Canary, Four Eyes, Hot-Head, Ice Cream Soldier, Jackie Johnson, Little Sure Shot, Long Round, Short Round, G.I. Robot, Wildman, Worry Wart, and Zack. (4) In 1977 'Our Army at War' was re-titled 'Sergeant Rock', and it ran until #422, July 1988. (5) The final fate of Sergeant Rock in 'pre-crisis' continuity is a bit peculiar to say the least. He was either killed on the last day of the war by the last enemy bullet fired. Or he is still around till this very day. (6) Batman teamed up with Sergeant Rock and Easy Company in a number of different tales written by Bob Haney in his comic book 'Brave and The Bold'. In issue #84 -- July 1969 -- there paths crossed in an 'Earth 2' war story. In #96 -- July 1971 -- Bruce went to the United States Embassy in South America where Rock was the 'Chief of Security' there.  In #108 -- September 1973 -- Batman and Rock tracked down a devilish apparition who they thought was Hitler. And in #124 -- January 1976 -- they both trailed the crime organisation known as 'The 1000', which guest starred the creators, Jim Aparo and Bob Haney, themselves. (7) Although it wasn't made very clear during its brief 12 issue run, Sergeant Rock and Bulldozer may have been involved with President Lex Luthors version of the Suicide Squad. It was created by Keith Giffen and published in 2001 and 2002. (8) In the 'Flashpoint' alternate-world crossover event, Rock was a member of 'Team 7' who was killed in a Jihad training camp. (9) There was a British character called 'Sergeant Rock' that appeared in a weekly comic book entitled 'Smash', from #156, 1969. He was a Paratrooper though. And later a member of the S.A.S.


Justice League - The Savage Times Screenshot


Well, if you haven't guessed by now -- yes, correct -- I think 'Rock and Easy company' are a great bunch characters, and made 'Justice League - The Savage Time' that much sweeter with their presence. Heck, if I'm going to be completely honest about it, I would have liked to have seen more of them in it!

Hawkgirl in Justice League - The Savage Times
Listen; I am not trying to imply that the other 'guest stars' weren't enjoyed as well. I liked the Blackhawk sections a great deal, plus I got a right kick out of Steve Trevor kissing Wonder Woman in the way that he did. It's just the whole adventure did come across a bit like 'lets have a war-time tale and stick as many cameo's in it as possible' -- if you get my gist. I would have liked more interaction is all -- because I honestly feel that every single 'guest' in this film could have been expanded upon a lot more than they were!

Still, that's life, right? And a Saturday morning cartoon is a Saturday morning cartoon. A great cartoon by the way -- one that I thoroughly enjoyed from the very beginning to the very end. Like a stray bullet ricocheting off of a solders helmet.




Never forgotten, and always remembered. Especially by me -- the DC history buff.

THE RATING: B+