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"?
- In the recent movie, Captain America fought alongside "Dum Dum" Dugan, Jacques Dernier, James Montgomery Falsworth, Gabriel Jones, Jim Morita.
- In the Marvel Universe, Dugan, Falsworth, Jones, Morita were part of Sgt. Nick Fury's "Howling Commandos."
- In reality, the "Howling Commandos" were named after the 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagles" Division.
- 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.