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Over the past week, DC Comics has been teasing out classic heroes who will be appearing on Legends of Tomorrow in some form or fashion. So far, these folks include Jonah Hex, Hourman, Sandman and the Golden Age Red Tornado, all of whom will run into the show’s protagonists during their temporal adventures. Now, a fifth hero has been added to the lineup: World War II operative Sgt. Rock.
The latest Legends of Tomorrow post on DC’s Instagram shows a bullet-riddled helmet, and if you look at the caption, you’ll spot the mention of Easy Company, the unit Sergeant Frank John Rock led during World War II. It’s not clear whether Legends of Tomorrow will keep Rock in the 1940s or place him in a more current war, but the legendary time travelers will meet him at some point during their journey to defeat Vandal Savage. Sgt. Rock is one of DC Comics’ most popular military characters, and after nearly 60 years of adventures in the comics, Legends of Tomorrow marks his first live-action appearance.
Created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Joe Kubert, Sgt. Rock debuted in G.I. Combat #68, though his rank wasn’t given until Our Army at War #81. As Easy Company’s leader, he led his men through through some of the most brutal battles across the European battlefields. In many ways, he was similar to Marvel’s Nick Fury when the future S.H.I.E.L.D. leader led the Howling Commandos in the same war. While Rock was an excellent fighter and great with firearms, he didn’t have any spelled-out special abilities. However, his endurance was higher than the average human’s, as he was able to survive several gunshot wounds, grenade fragments and other occupational hazards.
There are differing accounts over his fate following World War II. While most accounts have him dying in battle in the final moments of the war, there were a few stories where he survived and carried out covert missions for the U.S. government. Outside of the comics, Sgt Rock appeared in the TV shows Justice League and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. There have also been numerous attempts to get a Sgt. Rock movie off the ground, with Arnold Schwarzenegger attached at one point, but none have succeeded.
No doubt the Legends of Tomorrow crew will encounter Sgt. Rock and Easy Company in the midst of a devastating battle, be it World War II or another war, but the big question is whether those characters will survive their adventure with the time travelers or die in the process. If it’s the latter, I’m guessing the protagonists will later learn that they fell during another battle. These guys are soldiers, and a warrior's death would certainly be fitting for them.
New episodes of Legends of Tomorrow air Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.