Thursday, April 15, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: The Victory Squad

The Victory Squad is most famous for being the American team of Major Victory, Lady America and their respective sidekicks Kid Victory and Spangle. While it is true that the focus of this team was these costumed super-patriots, many people do not realize that there was also a team of highly trained soldiers from almost every branch of the US Army that were also part of the Victory Squad.

To understand the Victory Squad we must look at their origins, then their run as the most effective Allied unit and their eventual demise at the raid on Castle Fear.

When the Victory Program was first launched, most in the military saw it as a waste of resources. While they saw the potential devastation of Germany's super man, Die Übermann, many didn't believe he was as powerful as the news reels had made him out to be.

The idea of American super soldiers at a cost of millions of dollars to develop to them was a waste of millions that could be spent on gear and training infantry men to do the same job.

When Doctor Phineas Titansky (come Doc Titan) was able to not only produce results by testing his super power granting Infinity Serum on himself but also producing four other super soldiers, a lot of opinions changed.

When the four were deployed to the European theatre in 1942 they fell under the command of Allied Commander, Major General James E. Chaney. It was no secret that Chaney was not at all interested in having them in the theatre and equally felt the costumed soldiers were nothing more than a morale booster. As such he confined them to USO Camp Shows and only in England, far from the front.

The shows they appeared at were a great success and their displays of physical ability thrilled the soldiers, but they had been reduced to little more than show ponies. It is even reported that Lady America and Spangle would do song & dance routines to the cat calls of the soldiers in attendance. This use of the super soldiers infuriated Doctor Titansky, who beseeched President Roosevelt to force General Chaney to use the super soldiers as actual soldiers, but the President refused, citing his absolute trust in the General’s decisions. All that changed on December 24th, 1942.

At a Christmas Eve USO show at the ETOUSA HQ in London, with the new Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, General Eisenhower in attendance, Die Übermann and a whole team of Axis supers called the Super Axis (Actually they were known to the Nazis as Die Blitzkriegers or the Lightning Warriors, but it was translated into English by the Allies as the Super Axis, which is also how it appeared in the comic exploits being published about the Victory Squad back home). The Nazis attacked in force, along with a full squad of reanimated undead Nazi paratroopers. Their mission was to kill the all the Allied commanders in one fell swoop. Unfortunately for them the Victory Squad was performing at that show.

What resulted was an epic battle where the four American supers soldiers were not only able to save the Allied Commanders, but also drive off the Nazi villains. History tells us that General Eisenhower was so impressed by what he saw that he changed his mind on the Victory Squad that very night and they would go on to legend.

What most don’t know is that there were a dozen American soldiers involved managed to secure weapons from undead paratroopers and use them to harass the Nazi villains as well. Of the twelve quick thinking soldiers, only two survived; Corporal Jack Jenkins and Sergeant Hank “Hurricane” McShane (A baseball legend who played for the Capitol City Blue Sox). No fool, and perhaps seeing the need for a support team backing the costume soldiers, General Eisenhower assigned these two men to the Victory Squad and ordered that ten more volunteers be found to join them to bring their numbers back to twelve, in honour of the ten men who had died at the USO show fighting back.

At first many of these men felt they were being asked to “volunteer” for either a soft detail or babysitting. Many jokes were made at their expense by other soldiers, but after their first foray into occupied France left half of them dead, they started to see it as an elite unit. It should be pointed out that the “volunteer” part was no more voluntary than the draft was. Many found themselves “volunteering” for the duty. For many new volunteers the idea of working with Lady America and Spangle was an insult. The vets of the team knew differently as they had witnessed first hand Lady A’s ferocity and her dedication to Victory Squad. It was not unheard of for a new squad volunteers’ gripes about “working with a dame” to be met by veteran members of the squad standing up for her and telling the tales of how she had saved their lives on more than one occasion.

A sidenote about Lady America showed her tenacity and drive to be taken seriously as a soldier. In May 1942, Lady America requested better uniforms for her and Spangle, as it seemed too many soldiers were looking up her skirt during battles. She also asked that the four costumed soldiers be given sidearms as well. The request was refused by Eisenhower’s office, so Lady America and Spangle marched into his office, whipped off their skirts, threw them on his desk and announced that they would battle Hitler with their with undergarments visible from that day forward. Her request was reconsidered and approved the next day.

For the duration of the war Sergeant McShane and Corporal Jenkins managed to survive the longest, being the only members of the original Victory Squad, other than the costumed heroes, to be part of the last battle. It is rumoured, though never proven, that there was an attempt to make a recruitment news reel featuring the two that was scrapped due to Jenkins inability to not swear ever other word and McShane’s lack of acting ability making him seem wooden and unappealing.

The ultimate fate of the Victory Squad would be a tragic, yet heroic one. Volunteering to lead a raid on Castle Fear, the base of operations for the Super Axis, then entire team would be wiped out in the resulting battle (except for Lady America) that achieved its mission of removing the Nazi supers as a battle force. This act assured that the Allied troops descending on Berlin in 1945 were not impeded by the Super Axis.

In 1979 Lady America petitioned to have a monument raised in honor of the Victory Squad, though the petition was defeated in Congress due to costs, a sad end to a story of the incredible heroism of normal soldiers alongside the greatest super soldiers in American history.


  1. Very cool. I love a good WW2 super team and this one qualifies. Excellent work.

  2. Thank you very much :)

    I really have put a lot of thought into this universe, also amalgamating over 25 years of super campaigns as well.

    'tis a labour of love. ;)