Reign of the Supermen #517: Tag-Along of Easy Company

Source: DC Comics Presents #10 (1979)
Type: Amnesia
So there was this one time when Superman was thrown back to World War II by an explosion... no, not the Time and Time and Again story arc from the early 90s, BEFORE that. In "The Miracle Man of Easy Company", by Cary Bates and Joe Staton, Supes is thrown back in time by a bomb inside a gold asteroid from which he saved Paris. He couldn't just throw the sucker into the sun because someone had actually thought things through:
The mystery villain would only be revealed in the next issue, and we don't care about that. What we do care about is what happens to Superman in WWII, an amnesiac who doesn't understand why he's wearing a funny suit, or why he can hear soldiers coming from miles away. Luckily for him, some German soldiers just dropped American uniforms in the woods after a failed attempt to infiltrate Sgt. Rock's company with their "perfect" Minnesota accents. So the Rock finds Clark in one of those uniforms, no memory, no dog tags, but detailed pop culture knowledge of the era so he can prove he's an American. Once Easy Company trusts him, they give him the nickname Tag-Along and hand him a bazooka. But Sgt. Rock has misgivings...
Ha ha! Dramatic irony! Well played, Mr. Bates! The test comes the next day when Easy Company is ambushed by a tiger tank and Tag-Along just can't pull the trigger!
As the company scrambles out of the way, Tag-Along punches at the ground in frustration and causes an earthquake that disables the tank. His new boy may be under the impression that he's in a Bronze Age superhero comic, but Sgt. Rock disabuses him of the notion by throwing a grenade inside the tank and killing its crew. This is a war comic, son! So now Tag-Along is AWOL and thinking hard about being a Superman and having an  "S" on his chest and it all comes back to him just in time to save Easy Company from a Stuka-dropped bomb (discreetly, of course). Realizing that his poached uniform had a transmitter hidden in the canteen and thus drew the Germans to Easy Company, Superman decides Tag-Along should be resurrected one more time, as Corporal Steel, super-soldier:
He makes the Germans believe he and Rock are cut from the same indestructible cloth and the scatter. Later, Easy Company finds the dead body of Tag-Along without a mark on him, condemn the Nazis for having invisible torture techniques and bury their brother in arms. And we're right back to the cover.

So... where was Tag-Along in Easy Company's Who's Who entry?

7 comments:

snell said...

Compare with JMS' Brave And The Bold Flash/Blackhawks story, where Barry Allen is branded a moral defective for being reluctant to kill while trapped in WWII.

Seriously, JMS' DC work was some of the worst comics of the past 40 years...and sadly, their dour attitude seems to have inspired much of the nu52...

SallyP said...

Oh...Superman. Man, they just don't write stuff like this anymore.

Delta said...

Typo in 1st paragraph: "could" --> "couldn't".

Randal said...

Dammit, I care who the villain was. I care!

Siskoid said...

It's really disappointing... remember Frank Rayles? No, of course you don't. His only appearance was DCCP #11. An ex-con who inherited his brother's astronomy findings about the Polaris star and used it to take control of Hawkman, power him up, and so needed to weaken Superman with a bomb before the heroes faced off.

Rex Kidd said...

Was DCP the "Jesus's Brother" of Brave and the Bold, or were they alike in dignity and stature in their day? Certainly not as well-remembered today, DC never tried to revive the Superman team-up formula after all

Siskoid said...

Well, they kinda did. Post-Crisis Action Comics was a Superman team-up book, but nothing after that except with Batman, and that's World's Finest.

We were talking about this just the other day (on G+ maybe?) and the consensus was that B&B was overall better and crazier, but when DCCP GOT crazy, then it was more memorable than B&B. Superman teamed up with Santa Claus, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, the Masters of the Universe, OMAC, Kamanda, anyone really.

 

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