Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Fightin' 5!


Welcome to The Fightin' 5 cover gallery here at the Dojo. It's long overdue that Charlton's elite strikeforce and "America's Super Squad" get some love and attention here. It's especially appropriate today as this marks the beginning of the fifth year that the Dojo has been up and running. As is often noted, time flies and that's certainly the case here. It seems like only yesterday that I opened up the Dojo for operation. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who stops by and makes this place what it is. It's been a lot of fun and I hope it continues for quite some time to come. Now for the covers.

Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano

Rocke Mastroserio

Bill Montes and Rocke Mastroserio

Bill Montes and Rocke Mastroserio

Pat Masulli and Rocke Mastroserio

Bill Montes and Ernie Bache

Rocke Mastroserio

Bill Montes and Rocke Mastroserio

Bill Montes and Rocke Mastroserio

Rocke Mastroserio

Just in case the title of this action-packed Charlton offering is bewildering, here's how you parse it. The team was composed originally of Frenchie the Fox, Irv "The Nerve" Haganah, Granite Gallero, Hank Hennessy, and Tom-Tom and as you see below, put the first letters of those names together and they form the word "F.I.G.H.T." In the 60's such name play was commonplace with S.H.I.E.L.D., S.P.E.C.T.R.E., T.H.U.N.D.E.R., U.N.C.L.E. and such like running amok in the pop culture of the day. This one I'll grant you is a bit tortured, but then most of them are.


The Fightin' 5 showcased an elite international fighting force of regular though especially skilled and tough soldiers who battled all manner of menaces, and defended the world from tyranny of all stripes, especially Communism. One rule apparently was that they had to look good in a beret. There were costs to this struggle, as there is death and injury along the way for these heroes. The adventures of "America's Super Squad" were written by Charlton ace Joe Gill and drawn by Bil Montes and Ernie Bache for the most part. The covers were by Dick Giordano and later by Rocke Mastroserio among others.

The series began its run in 1964 at issue twenty-eight, picking up the numbering in true always-confusing Charlton style of the series Space War. Charlton already had Fightin' Marines, Fightin' Army, Fightin' Navy, and Fightin' Air Force, so this title fit right in.



These vintage Charlton ads show what else Charlton was doing when they sought to create and promote The Fightin' 5. Blue Beetle, Son of Vulcan, Captain Atom, and Sarge Steel were the other heroes. Though the Fightin' 5 are not part of Charlton's "Action Heroes" properly, they were part of the build-up to that memorable assembly. It was  in the pages of The Fightin' 5 that Peacemaker debuted, and later the team finished its run as a back-up in the pages of Peacemaker's comic, even adding a woman to their ranks before it was all said and done.

In the early 80's Charlton reprinted many of the adventures of The Fightin'5 continuing the numbering where they'd left off so many years before.









Many years later still in the late 90's Richard Broughton's ACG Comics reprinted a Fightin' 5 story titling the comic The Power of 5.


Sadly, to my knowledge that's the last anyone has seen of this brave gang of gallant warriors. It's a pity. I put together my complete Fightin' 5 run a few years ago thanks to the folks at Mile High Comics, so perhaps it's time for a detailed read and reporting on these largely forgotten heroes. Maybe this summer! 

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9 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary, Rip!
    Looking forward to your "Battle Bulletins" or whatever you're going to call the Fightin' 5 posts.

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    1. Thanks Britt. When I get to them, they'll be listed under the Charlton Reports labels, though "Battle Bulletins" is pretty catchy.

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  2. I have a few I picked up in hopes of getting those Peacemaker stories. Never read the FF tales. Any good? I'm not a fan of SHIELD and such things, is this better? The covers look exciting.

    S.A.T.A.N. is the best name for an evil group ever!

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    1. I originally got mine for the Peacemaker stories too, but later knew I wanted them for the Fightin' 5 stories. They're a hoot. As for SATAN, I concur.

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  3. Happy Anniversary Rip!

    Your blog is as much a part of my morning routine as my coffee. :)

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    1. Thanks. It's fun to do by and large, though some days it does feel a tad like work. The payoff is great followers and friends.

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  4. most excellent post today (i've shared this with the Charlton Arrow, the Charlton facebook group!)--and happy anniversary!

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    1. A Charlton Facebook group? I dread the Facebook, but maybe now I'll have to enter that undiscovered country. Sheesh! Thanks for the good wishes!

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    2. Sounds like fun, I just joined the group.

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