|Photo by U.S. Marine Cpl. Reece Lodder|
Just as the infantry squad is the basic building-block of U.S. ground forces, it can also serve as the basic building-block of fictional narrative. Throw a couple of military characters into a stressful environment, arm them with some weapons and strong personalities, and issue them a mission. You'll have a good war story in no time.
Parachuting a squad-sized, modern-day military unit into nearly any situation seems likely to pay off in fictional fireworks. Take these nearly out-of-this-world examples:
- Squad plus instantaneous intergalactic travel equals "Stargate SG-1."
- Squad plus robots equals "Transformers" (2008).
- Squad plus cartoonish terrorist organization equals "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (2009).
- Squad plus team member who is secretly a superhero, alien, and/or mutant equals Sgt. Rock storyline in DC Comics' "Men at War" (2011-2012).
- Squad plus caper to steal Nazi gold equals "Kelly's Heroes" (1970).
- Squad plus alien hunter equals "Predator" (1987).
- Squad plus full-blown alien invasion equals "Battle: Los Angeles" (2011).