Click on each image to view larger
Combat Kelly #1-44 (Nov. 1951 - Aug. 1957).
Combat Kelly is the name of two fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Both appear in war comics titles: Combat Kelly, published by Marvel's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, and set during the Korean War; and the 1970s series Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen, set earlier during World War II. It is uncertain whether they are the same character.
Combat Kelly starred in the 44-issue, Korean War-set Combat Kelly (Nov. 1951 to Aug. 1957), published by Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics. The character also made two appearances in the Atlas war comics series Battle comics. His stories were drawn by artists including Dave Berg, Joe Maneely, and Gene Colan, with at least one cover drawn by Russ Heath.
"Snarling, sweating, swearing" Combat Kelly, with his best bud Cookie Novak and the "battle-weary infantry" must have been responsible for wiping out at least a third of the Communist forces all by themselves, so high was the body count.
Combat Kelly, like Combat Casey and many of the other Atlas war heroes, was a warfront soldier who killed lots of Commies and didn't show much in the way of a distinctive personality. Kelly serves under Major Thorn, who dislikes Kelly and calls him a "gold-bricking, girl-crazy, chow-gulping, battle-batty G.I." among other such endearments. Kelly fought in World War Two (in which Thorn was a Captain) as well as Korea, and is (naturally) a good fighter, as well as skilled at sneaking behind enemy lines, dressing in the enemy's uniforms, and killing the enemy (of course).
While most of the stories involving Combat Kelly are serious, straight-ahead war stories, a certain number of them play the character and his adventures for humor, including one that forces him to dress up in woman's clothing. Also -and this is hardly singular to Combat Kelly, and is an old complaint, but it bears repeating- while he calls his Asian enemies by racial epithets, his German enemies are described only as "Nazis." One Combat Kelly story portrayed an "Agent K," a German woman working for the Allies who helps destroy a secret German organisation of SS men; no such courtesy was ever shown to a Japanese or North Korean figure.
1970s series. Corporal Michael Lee Kelly starred as the leader of group of military convicts paroled for special missions in a nine-issue series cover-billed as Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen (June 1972 - Oct. 1973), though as simply Combat Kelly in the postal indicia. With issue #5 (Feb. 1973), the cover title changed slightly to Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen. The series name and premise are similar to those of the 1960s movie The Dirty Dozen.
The 1970s series was set during World War II, earlier than the 1950s series' timeframe. In issue #3, Kelly is described as an U.S. Army boxer who in 1940 killed a man in the ring. He was convicted and sentenced for manslaughter, and was later paroled. The series was created by writer Gary Friedrich and penciler Dick Ayers, the creative team of Marvel's long-running WWII title Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos; the premiere issue continued a story begun in Sgt. Fury #98 (May 1972), and occasional crossovers continued between these two series.
Dave Berg (Brooklyn, June 12, 1920 – May 17, 2002) was an American cartoonist, most noted for his five decades of work in Mad.
Berg showed early artistic talents, attending Pratt Institute when he was 12 years old and later studying at Cooper Union. He served a period of time in the Army Air Corps. In 1940, he joined Will Eisner's studio, where he wrote and drew for the Quality Comics line. Berg's work also appeared in Dell Comics and Fawcett Publications, typically on humorous back-up features.
Beginning in the mid-1940s, he worked for several years with Stan Lee on comic books at Timely Comics (now known as Marvel Comics), ranging from Combat Kelly and The Ringo Kid to Tessie the Typist. He also freelanced for a half-dozen other comic companies.
Berg began at Mad in 1956. In 1961, he started the magazine's "Lighter Side" feature, his most famous creation. Berg contributed to Mad until his death, a total of 46 years. After a long battle with cancer, he died in his home.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.