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All-Winner’s Squad: Band of Heroes #5: Review

Oct 2011
Paul Jenkins, Carmine DiGiandomenico

Story Name:

Dulce et Decorum Est

Review & Comments

4 stars

All-Winner’s Squad: Band of Heroes #5 Review by (October 27, 2011)
I have been wondering when the present-day action of this series is set. The problem is the concurrent appearance of Cap in costume and an adult male Loki (in #3). Cap 'died' before the Asgardians returned to reality in Thor v3 #1. Now that Steve Rogers has resumed the role of Cap, Loki is a young boy. I see 3 possible solutions to this. It could be after Steve returned from 'death', while Loki was adult male (between being female and being resurrected as a young male). He might have put on a Cap uniform for Bill Bryon (Young Avenger)'s funeral in #3, but he wouldn't be wearing it this issue. The other possibilities are that this series happened a while ago, before the Asgardians 'died' in Thor v2 #85, or that they are set in the future, after Loki inevitably gets his grown-up form back. Or maybe it's not really Loki here. There is another question related to time raised this issue. Bill Bryon and Slo-Mo Jones are understandably ancient by now. But, unless I'm misreading something, Agents Palmore and Young claim to have been active since the war ended, and they look old but not that old.

The WWII events in #1 (25th June in France and 6th December in Germany) bracket those in this issue. If Captain Flame really does die here this would be strange because he features in the later episode in #1. Fin didn't die last issue as I thought he might, because I note his finned helmet in 1 panel here. Davey Drew was alive at the end of last issue, but I don't think I can see his scarred face. Flash Foster isn't identifiable, but we know he will be in the Germany bit of #1. But I think I see the mystery goggles man from #3! Certain characters won't be visible in the Germany bit of #1. Taxi Taylor and Transisto-Mech are accounted for. Invisible Man is probably dead or invalided out. Davey Drew, Fin and American Ace are missing too. (And mystery goggles man.) But following my re-evaluation of masks last issue, I think Blue Diamond might be there. (And anyway we know he survives the war.) Significantly Captain Flame is very much present in Germany in #1. So I don't know how this squares with Slo-Mo saying her sent Flame to his death this issue. When Captain America demands to know who authorised the removal of Taylor and T-Mech from the Crazy Sues, he is directed to a black-haired man in a limousine, and immediately backs down. I don't know who this man is. Could it be Loki from #3?

This month's cover features Captain America, Captain Flame and probably Slo-Mo Jones. This is the 1st issue that has no Victory Boy on the cover, which is ironic because now they've actually arrived! The Timely Victory Boys I mentioned in #1 were young German (possibly Jewish) boys orphaned by the Nazis, and led by an American boy. They operated in Germany. The version seen here are Polish (or at least one is), probably older, and they are in France. The main thing the 2 versions have in common is the use of bow and arrows. The scenes in this issue seem to show 4 or 3 of them. In #1 there were 5. (In their 2 Timely appearances there were 6 and 4 members respectively.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

All-Winner’s Squad: Band of Heroes #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

This issue is divided into 2 strands, over and above the split between present day and WWII. Besides Slo-Mo Jones continuing to relate the WWII adventures of the Crazy Sues to writer Alyssa Bryon, we see present-day Captain America being briefed by a government agency about the current situation, and remembering bits of WWII himself.

Last issue featured the D-Day landings. The whole of Slo-Mo's story this issue covers more of the campaign in France in 1944.

The first scene on July 7th has the squad as part of the army working their way towards Paris. Recognisable characters apart from Slo-Mo are Sgt Byrd, Alyssa's grandfather Young Avenger, Blue Diamond, Merzah, Moon Man, Captain Flame, American Ace, Invisible Man, Archie the medic and Fin, plus Captain Strong is mentioned. They have been joined by the bow-and-arrow-wielding Victory Boys, one named Krzystof. But Taxi Taylor and Transisto-Mech have been taken away.

Merzah lets Slo-Mo know that they both know about the homosexual relationship between Captain Flame (Frank Cortez) and American Ace. He predicts that a time will come when Slo-Mo is tempted to betray Cortez, and warns him not to.

In the present Captain America meets DOD Intelligence agents Bradley, Palmore and Young. They ask him if he knows about Operation Firefly, and he denies ever hearing about it until Alyssa queried him about it in #3. They say it was connected to Project Alberta, which he does remember. Back in July 12th 1944 he has come to the US to demand Taylor and T-Mech be returned to the squad. He is told they are needed for other secret duties. He is also told that the Crazy Sues are part of a larger scheme called Project Alberta. As part of this scheme Cap is given orders to push Flame to his limits.

Back in Slo-Mo's story, the Crazy Sues take part in the liberation of Paris alongside Captain America. Relaxing in a bar afterwards, August 29th, Cortez is shocked to learn that Ace is married.

In the following days the Crazy Sues and Cap and Bucky are part of a force heading towards Belgium. Sometime during this period they get pinned down in a French town by a strong German force. Moon Man is killed and Invisible Man severely injured.

Slo-Mo and Cortez are separated from the rest. Byrd shouts for Flame to destroy the Germans (by redirecting their fire back at them), but Cortez can't bring himself to do his thing again. Slo-Mo blackmails him into it by threatening to expose his homosexuality. Captain Flame faces the enemy troops.

In the present Slo-Mo says he had sent Cortez to his death. He doesn't believe Alyssa understands why he did it. He gives her a piece of paper and tells her to go visit the people on it. Then she'll understand.

But as Alyssa leaves him she is hustled into a car, where she faces Cap and Nick Fury.

Carmine DiGiandomenico
Carmine DiGiandomenico
Andy Troy
Mico Suayan (Cover Penciler)
June Chung (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

> All-Winner’s Squad: Band of Heroes: Book info and issue index

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