Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wanted TPB: Fighting American

Writer: Rob Liefeld, Jeph Loeb and Jim Starlin
Artist: Ed McGuinness and Stephen Platt
Publisher: Awesome Entertainment (1997 & 1998)
Fighting American #1-2, Fighting American: Rules of the Game #1-3 and Fighting American: Dogs of War #1-3

Clipped from Wikipedia: A two-issue miniseries (August–October 1997) from Awesome Entertainment, written by Rob Liefeld (story) and Jeph Loeb (script), and penciled by Liefeld and Stephen Platt, had originally been produced for the "Heroes Reborn" version of Captain America for Marvel Comics. Here, Fighting American was a retired superhero coping with the death of his partner. 

The miniseries came about, Liefeld said in 2007, while he was packaging a Captain America series for Marvel. In early 1997, the company, which had filed for bankruptcy, asked Liefeld to accept lower payment for his studio's work. He refused and was removed from the series. Liefeld called Fighting American co-creator Joe Simon and Roz Kirby, widow of co-creator Jack Kirby, who agreed to license the character to him, but at a price Liefeld would not accept. Liefeld created the similar character Agent America, drawing "maybe three pinups and one poster image", but withdrew the character, he said, when Simon threatened to sue. Liefeld negotiated a new deal for Fighting American, but was then sued by Marvel. During the course of the trial, he said, his version of Fighting American acquired a shield. As one of the terms of the settlement, however, Fighting American was forbidden from throwing his shield like a weapon, to distinguish him from Captain America.

In later comics published by Awesome Entertainment, Fighting American was John Flagg, a former soldier who gained powers through an unspecified experiment "never to be duplicated." A subsequent miniseries, Rules of the Game, written by Loeb with art by Ed McGuinness, reintroduced some of the original Simon & Kirby villains. It was followed by the miniseries Dogs of War, written by Jim Starlin and penciled by Platt. While Awesome was legally prohibited from having him throw the shield, Rules and Dogs showed several additional weapons are built into it, including multiple spike projectiles, a Gatling gun and a mini-missile. This version has also used throwing stars tipped with tranquilizers.


Anonymous said...


The Dork said...


Jason Shepherd said...

I'd buy this TPB, mainly for the final Fighting American mini-series, "Dogs of War," which was never completed.

I'd also love to see someone address the fact that "Dogs of War" (published in 1998) reads like a first draft of Captain America's "Winter Soldier" storyline (from 2004). Both stories have patriotic superheroes (Fighting American and Captain America) encountering mysterious assassins (No-Name, Winter Soldier) who turn out to be their revived junior partners (Speedboy, Bucky). I once wrote Jim Starlin (who wrote "Dogs of War") if he noticed the resemblance, but he never replied. It seems to be there might be a story there... or a lawsuit.