18 November 2011

Capt. America vs. The Red Bull

No, not "the Red Skull". Believe it or not, I said, "the Red Bull"!

Household-6 and I watched "Captain America: The First Avenger" for the first time last weekend. Most of the movie's storyline takes place during World War II. During some battle scenes, I half-recognized a background character fighting alongside the star-spangled superhero. He was depicted as a British or American soldier, and wore sergeant's stripes on his bowler hat.

For some reason, that got my old Spidey sense tingling. The next morning, with a little super-Google-boost, I managed to figure out why my long-dormant comic-book memory banks had sparked at the sight of a silly battle-hat.

Turns out, the character was Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan, a long-named character originally featured in an equally long-named Marvel comic: "Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos"!

The story goes that Marvel Comics president Stan Lee came up with the ungainly phrase on a bet, gambling that any comic written by Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby would sell, regardless of a purposefully ungainly and silly title. Here's how Stan Lee described the title's origin:
First of all, it was too long for a title—we didn't have any that were six words. And "Howling" was a long word, and "Commandos"was a long word. I got the name "Howling Commandos" because in the Army there was a group called the Screaming Eagles. And I loved the sound of that. So I figured we'd have the Howling Commandos.
Are you ready to play the Red Bull Division version of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"?

Here goes:
  1. In the recent movie, Captain America fought alongside "Dum Dum" Dugan, Jacques Dernier, James Montgomery Falsworth, Gabriel Jones, Jim Morita.
  2. In the Marvel Universe, Dugan, Falsworth, Jones, Morita were part of Sgt. Nick Fury's "Howling Commandos."
  3. In reality, the "Howling Commandos" were named after the 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagles" Division.
  4. During its deployment to Afghanistan in 2010-2011, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division was attached to the 101st Airborne Div.
There you have it, True Believers: From Captain America to the Red Bull in four easy steps!

"Excelsior!"

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