Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Groovy Guest-Post by Jonathan "A" Gilbert! If You Blinked You Missed: Super Green Beret

Here 'tis, Groove-ophiles! Another swell essay by my pal Jazzy Jon "A" Gilbert! Dig it, baby!

Well, last time out I talked about the differences between The Groovy Agent and I. We also have similarities; one of them being we like really weird and obscure comics.

One of the obscure comics that both he and I like is SUPER GREEN BERET from the 1960s.

1967 if I am not mistaken; published by Lightning Comics and ran for two issues.

Lighting published two titles; SUPER GREEN BERET and FATMAN THE HUMAN FLYING SAUCER.

C.C. Beck had his hand in both titles and Lightning was going to launch Captain Shazam but the company went out of business.

Not sure how I can even begin to explain SUPER GREEN BERET (Actually it was officially titled TOD HOLTON, SUPER GREEN BERET).

Basically though Tod Holton was given a green beret by a relative who served in, well, The Green Berets. But it wasn't an ordinary green beret. It was a magic green beret. And when Tod wore it and saluted like a good American he became SUPER GREEN BERET and then used his powers to kick the butts of the commie rats in Vietnam (and to gain certain powers he had to salute of course).

It was pretty darn jingoistic to be honest with you looking back. The comics were 25 cents with I think 64 inside pages. Great Carl Pfuefer art, but the comic (Written by Otto Binder--Groove); well, it was definitely a period piece. Long before the Tet Offensive-which for the record despite what you might want to believe the American forces won-that resulted in things turning into mission creep.

Good comic. Good fun. And for a kid who knew nothing about what was going on at the time. And lots and lots of action.

The comic lasted for two issues. It came out during the Batmania craze when a whole bunch of other companies flooded the market, too.

I bought the comic when it came out and loved it and even bought a green beret at a military surplus store in London called Novacs and tried to gain super-powers by saluting. Guess what. Didn't work.

I am beginning to wonder if any of these things in comics work when it comes to gaining super-powers. Cosmic rays will kill me, getting bitten by a radioactive spider will cause a major itch. Gamma rays; well, I would be a dead man within a second. And striking a stick on the ground only results in a broken stick.

Still; when you are a kid and ya run into a comic about a kid who is your age and just salutes and has these amazing powers; well heck man. It was super cool.

And though it was darn jingoistic I still love those two issues. Fun stuff.
Jonathan "A" Gilbert is a comics writer, editor, publisher and t-shirt designer. His blog can be found at .


  1. Mission Creep would have been a good name for a villain to oppose SGB.

    I've never been able to bring myself to read this comic before. It wasn't quite as bad as I feared...though it reminds me of Herbie the Fat Fury more than anything else, what with the virtual omnipotence and sheer preadolescent wish fulfillment of the hero. If it had lasted longer, I wonder if it might have turned into something more satirical, like Simon and Kirby's FIGHTING AMERICAN?

    (Also, FATMAN was an utterly charming and warm-hearted series that deserves way more respect than it gets...)

    Excellent post, Jonathan!

  2. Hey Jon
    I never heard of Super Green Beret, but liked the movie. I also remember the song as a 5 or 6 year old in 67. What I found more interesting being a HUGE Capt.Marvel/Shazam fan. Was the tibit about CC Beck & Otta Binder & Capt.Shazam.

    It's too bad Marvel/Roy Thomas got the copyright on the name Capt.Marvel. GGRRR!! I always wonder what if Stan Lee had did this in the early 60's with Jack "KING" Kirby, instead of doing Thor. If Marvel had bought & updated CM. A cross between Peter Parker/Billy Batson Thor/CM. It makes you wonder what might have been a second life for Capt.Marvel!

  3. Let's remember that there are two distinctly different Captain Marvels in the comics. DC has the former Fawcett icon. Marvel created their own, a warrior from another world.

    Playing video of Sgt. Sadler made my day.



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