World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

30th June 2022

The Eight Most Iconic Guns in Comic Books

Guns and comic books have a long-standing relationship, but the use of guns in comic books very much dependent upon the respective comic book sub-genre.

War-themed comic books published during World War Two and after featured characters which had, as a rule, no qualms about shooting dead opposing soldiers in often stylised, bloodless battle scenes. These sorts of exchanges of fire are most prevalent in the very long-running series, Commando: For Action and Adventure, a British war comic published by D.C. Thompson & Co since 1961 and approaching its 5000th issue. Soldiers die from gunshot in “Commando” stories, but gore is never depicted.

This absence of bloodshed in these comics is a sanitisation of war for a youthful audience. There is no torn flesh and bone by sniper rifle, no fly-infestation of shredded organs by machine gun. To a very significant extent this absence of gore glorifies war: it makes it harmless save for enemies dropping bloodlessly to the ground, and the hero’s occasional, barely-debilitating bullet wound in the shoulder (one of the few bullet wounds not likely to be fatal).

This has changed in more recent times, with comic books following the lead of online games such as “Gears of War”, but also by writers seeking greater realism as the audience has grown older and more sophisticated.

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