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Origins

Hank "Combat" Kelly was a soldier in the United States Army who served in both World War II and the Korean War. Kelly was a womanizer and a glutton who loved combat and often placed himself in seemingly impossible situations and surviving unscathed. When he wasn't in combat situations he was eating or trying to charm any woman that passed him by.

Not much is known about his past, and there is conflicting information based on his claims. He has stated father was a soldier in World War I who often told him stories about the war[1]. However in another account, Combat claimed that he didn't know who his parents were due to the fact that he was an orphan[2].

World War II

When the Untied States entered World War II, Kelly was deployed to Europe where his fearlessness earned him the nickname "Combat Kelly" while battling Nazi forces. It was during the War he met his long time friend Cookie Novak. During his tours of Europe, Combat was regularly under the command of Captain Thorn and Sargent O'Hoolian. He often fought under Captain Thorn's Baker Company.

On March 1, 1943, Combat and Cookie were were among a unit that clashed with Erwin Rommel's Afrika Corps, beating them to a strategic watering hole[3]. April 7th that same year the pair were part of the America II Corps that were stationed in Africa, where they clashed again with the Nazi's Afrika Corps and Erwin Rommel. They located a secret bunker where Rommel and his troops hid their tanks between attacks and marked it for American bombers[4].

On January 22, 1944, Combat and Cookie were shipped to Anzio, Italy, where they fought alongside the 5th Armored Division as part of Operation: Shingle. There they foiled a plot by the Nazis to use miniaturized tanks filled with explosives[5]. On February 1st 1944, Combat and Cookie were part of the 5th Army Division and assisted in clearing out Nazi forces that had holed up in St. Benedict's Cathedral in Italy[6]. During the spring, Combat and Cookie were under the command of Captain Thorn in the 34th Infantry Division (the Sandstorm Division), battling Nazi forces in Italy, and wrecking an enemy supply line headed for Rome[7]. Later in their first recorded mission with Baker Company, Combat and Cookie managed to incapacitate an entire army of Nazis with wine found in a wine cellar in a small Italian village[8]. On June 6, 1944, Combat and Cookie were part of the 29th Blue Grey Division, seeing action 17 miles off the coast of Omaha with Nazi forces. They were captured but freed by the French "rat run" that helped freed captured Allied soldiers[9]. On June 11th 1944, Combat and Cookie crossed paths with a Nazi supply truck shipping the Nazis new V-1 rockets, destroying a large supply of them. Finding the launching site, the pair then sabotaged the rockets. The next day when the Nazis attempted to launch the rockets at London, most ended up striking Berlin instead, with only one hitting London. Embarrassed by this defeated, Adolf Hitler ordered a cover up of the failure[1].In August of that year, Combat and Cookie were instrumental in helping Allied Forces break past the Nazi's Siegfried Line through France[10]. Late that month, the pair were part of the 90th Infantry Division (The Alamo Infantry) where they destroyed Nazi tanks poised to attack American positions[11].

In July of that year, Combat and Cookie were in Livorno (Leghorn) Italy destroying Nazi jets. During this operation they had the incredible luck of capturing Adolf Hitler while fleeing enemy forces. They then forced Hitler to bring them to various air bases and order the troops there to destroy them. With their mission completed this way, they then shaved off Hitler's mustache and dressed him up in a GI uniform and turned him over to Nazi authorities as an "American soldier" and escaped while Hitler was left to prove who he really was[12]. Relocating to Sicily, Combat and Cookie made a bet with British and Canadian soldiers that they could liberate the town of Messina before they could. Sure enough on July 10, 1944 the pair managed to overcome great odds to get to the town first and clear it of Nazi forces before their fellow Allies[13]. On July 17, 1944, Combat and Cookie were stationed in the Pacific Theatre where they assisted in the liberation of Onna Atoll[6] and later Kawawa Atoll from Imperial Japanese forces[14]. By November 8, 1944, Combat and Cookie were stationed in Africa where they foiled Nazi tank attacks during Operation Torch[15]. In December 1944, Combat and Cookie clashed with Nazi ski patrols in the mountains of Italy[16]. Shortly thereafter they were redeployed to Bastogne, Beligum where they used Jerry cans of gasoline to destroy Nazi tanks. After this battle Combat was awarded the Silver Star from General S. Patton himself[17].

In February of 1945, Combat and Cookie returned to Europe where they were part of the 29th Blue Grey Division clashing with Nazi forces along the Rhine River where they uncovered that the twin brother of Sargent Bonner had kidnapped and took his brothers place in order to report their troop movements to the Nazis. Combat and Cookie rescued the Sargent and sent his brother back to the Nazis where he was executed for his failures[18]. In March of that year, Combat, Cookie and Captain Thorne were smuggled into Hamberg, Germany. There they worked with Agent K, an Allied spy, to dismantle a group of loyal Nazis called the Wolves who were attempted to refortify the Nazis who were then losing ground in Germany[19]. On April 28, 1945, Combat and Cookie were back in Italy clashing again with Nazi forces. Along the way they attempted to stop Benito Mussolini and his lover Carletta Petaccui escape from the battle with a car full of riches. The pair refused bribes from the couple but were forced to let them go when they were once again attacked by Nazi forces. However, the next day Mussolini and Petaccui faced justice from their own people after they were captured and hung[20].

In early March of 1945, Combat and Cookie were with Baker Company in the South Pacific to liberate Kuna Atoll[21]. However, they were returned to Europe during the Allied push into Germany where they continued to fight the Nazis until their defeat and death of their leader Adolf Hitler[22]. Combat and Cookie spent much of the remainder of the war fighting in the South Pacific with Baker Company. They assisted in the liberation of the following Kuma atoll[23], Hagura atoll[24], Tsuki atoll[25], another unnamed atoll where Japanese forces used radio controlled tanks[26]. On their last recorded mission during World War II, Combat and Cookie were with Baker Company in liberating Kabu atoll, after which they petitioned military officials to promote Captain Thorn to the rank of Major[27].


Korean War

Early on in the war Kelly quickly rose to the rank of Major, but was demoted back down to private when he took out an entire cave of Chinese soldiers all by himself. Kelly was involved in many battles during the course of the Korean War, often fighting alongside his best pal Cookie Novak. One of his early exploits was stopping Chinese troops from forcing Korean singer Seoul City Sue to put on radio broadcasts demanding that the US troops cease their battling with communist forces[28]. This apparently diminished him in the eyes of Major Thorn who saw him as a bumbling fool and also reinforced his lecherous and gluttonous ways for a time. Kelly was frequently paired with Cookie and sent out on scouting missions or put on sentry duty. Often Kelly unorthodox methods frustrated his commanding officer Major Thorn. One of the earliest missions on record occurred in June of 1950 when Combat and Cookie were part of the 7th Infantry Division, where they helped liberate a South Korean village, proving to the village elders that American troops were not another group of conquerors coming to invade Korea, but instead attempting to liberate them[18].

Later, while on a mission behind enemy lines, Combat and Cookie rescued a female photographer named Kitty Klick, who helped provide the allies with photographs of enemy bases and troop formations which were later wiped out in air raids. Kelly's weakness for women soon worked against him when he was ordered to transfer some female spies to another base. The women charmed Kelly to the point where his guard was left down enough for them to briefly take him prisoner, but Kelly soon righted the situation and turned the women over to his superiors[29]. However, his charm on the ladies later worked in his benefit later when he and Cookie stumbled across a Chinese radio relay station under the command of female soldiers. Using the radios to find swing music, the pair managed to romance the women into dancing until reinforcements were able to arrive. Later they stopped Chinese troops who had a female to pose as a damsel in distress on the side of the road in order to stop supplies from being shipped to the front line[30]. Combat was unrelentingly loyal to Cookie, and one day when Cookie was seriously injured in battle Combat carried his injured friend all the way to help. Later while on patrol, the pair came across an enemy fuel dump hidden in piles of hay and blew it up[31].

When the pair were assigned to resupply the front line with land mines, Combat and Cookie found that their fellow troops were wiped out by advancing enemy forces. Quick thinking they used an inner tube to launch the mines directly at the advancing enemy wiping them all out. Captured behind enemy lines, Kelly was sentenced to execution. Managing to escape, he was then helped back across American lines by a South Korean refugee who later provided vital information for air strikes on enemy bases[32]. Once again captured behind enemy lines, Combat Kelly learned of a enemy strike which would occur once a special bugle call was made. Escaping and returning to American lines, he had Cookie blow a bugle call that tricked the enemy into advancing before they were ready. While the enemy troops were wiped out, Cookie went missing in action. Worried about his friend and determined to learn Cookie's fate, Kelly got permission from Major Thorn to go out looking for him. Combat rescued Cookie from enemy troops before he could be executed and survived the ambush thanks to a bullet proof vest provided to him by Major thorn. Put back on the front lines, Combat and Cookie barely survived an attack by Chinese soldiers wearing G.I. uniforms who managed to sneak past their sentries by saying they were from "J Company", a unit that did not really exist[33]. Captured by enemy troops once again, Combat and Cookie managed to break free and used war footage filmed by the enemy to trick them into thinking they were being attacked by a massive wave of American soldiers. Falling for the ploy, the Chinese soldiers panicked and fled to American lines in surrender[34]. On October 15, 1952, Combat and Cookie while part of Fox Company, came to the rescue of their captain who was captured by communist soldiers. They later defended a Korean town by destroying communist tank reinforcements[3].

Later, Combat and Cookie were sent behind enemy lines to determine the number of enemy troops. There they were captured and learned that Chinese doctors were injecting troops with Opium to send them into a battle frenzy. Combat then tainted the Opium with Nemputal, which made the enemy fall asleep, and thus easily captured when American troops advanced into the area. Combat and Cookie were later captured by a female soldier named Yalu River Rosie. She then forced them and other captured soldiers to dress as Chinese troops while the enemy wore their uniforms in a plot to infiltrate American lines. Combat and the others managed to foil this plot when they tricked another squad of Chinese soldiers to attack. While the Chinese soldiers were wiped out, Yalu River Rosie evaded capture. Combat and Cookie were then assigned to destroy enemy tanks, and in doing so uncovered a secret underground tank factory, and destroyed it[35]. While on sentry duty, Combat and Cookie discovered Chinese troops trying to smuggle themselves onto American lines by hiding in hay carts. Locating another such trick, Combat and Cookie ended up using a flaming hay cart to destroy an enemy fuel depot[36].

Still raw about how he was easily tricked by Yalu River Rosie, Combat Kelly became very depressed until Cookie Novak convinced Major Thorn to grant them leave. Combat used the time to track down Rosie and take her prisoner. When Cookie was captured by the enemy, Combat once more rushed to the aid of his friend. The pair found themselves once more fleeing the enemy on a flaming hay wagon, destroying an enemy fuel depot in their escape. When Cookie was once more captured by enemy troops, Combat led a fruitless search for his friend. Returning to base, he was shocked to find that not only did Cookie make it back to base alive, he managed to capture an enemy fighter for study. Once more on patrol, Combat and Cookie came across Chinese soldiers who were using stolen American tanks to confuse and steal other American tanks. The pair put a stop to this plot by destroying the tanks[37].

In 1953, Combat and Cookie were assigned to rescue soldiers that were being held in a prisoner of war camp that was built around a missile assembly plant. They were able to liberate the soldiers and the plant was destroyed[9]. While bringing ammo to the front line, Cookie was captured and Combat was pressured into turning over the ammunition to the enemy. Kelly and his fellow soldiers rigged the ammo with explosives and when Cookie was returned to them the explosives went off killing the enemy troops in the process[38]. Later, Combat and Cookie came the aid of a young Korean family in the town of Singye, liberating it from Chinese forces. Shortly thereafter, Yalu River Rosie broke out of prison again, Combat and Cookie disobeyed direct orders to to recapture her, Kelly was put in the stockade for disobeying orders. After his release, Combat and Cookie destroyed a submersible bridge used by the Chinese to sneak tanks onto American lines[39]. When Cookie was captured by enemy forced led by Yalu River Rosie, Combat was forced to use a truck loaded with explosives to blow up his base. Kelly however double crossed Rosie, destroying her own base and men, rescuing Cookie and taking her prisoner once more[40].

Later when Combat and Cookie were captured again. This time Combat was forced to fight Yamakayaka a Japanese sumo wrestler that was a prisoner of the Chinese since 1945. Defeating Yama in a sumo match, Kelly won the sumo's respect and the trio broke free from their captors. Soon after the pair were assigned to root out enemy forces with a flame thrower. To their shock the duo were next assigned to turn over Yalu River Rosie back to the Chinese in a prisoner exchange. However, when the Chinese tried to double cross them, Combat and Cookie rescued the captured commanding officer and recaptured Rosie and returned to base. They were rewarded with 30 days leave in Tokyo for their valor[41].

Returning to Korea, Combat and Cookie discover a massive Chinese made rocket. They managed to sabotage it, apparently sending it rocketing toward the Kremlin in Moscow. Later, when the pair were surrounded by enemy soldiers they watched in awe as their friend Yamakayaka literally threw artillery cannons at the enemy. Yalu River Rosie caused trouble for the American troops when she and her fellow prisoners constructed crude catapults to launch fire balls made from gasoline soaked clothing. Combat and Cookie were put into the prisoners pen to break up the attack[42]. Soon after, the pair went after Yalu River Rosie when she escaped again and foiled her plot to use subs along the Imjin River[43]. Soon after Rosie's recapture, Combat and Cookie were ordered to move her to another base when it was learned that the Chinese were going to once more attempt to break her free. This turned out to be a trick to capture her when she was in transport. Combat and Cookie prevented the attempt from succeeding. Combat occasionally came to the aid of his fellow soldiers, such as when a new troop froze in battle, Combat taught him that fear was nothing to be ashamed of by writing a fake letter to his "mother" telling "her" how afraid he was in battle. Combat and Cookie were later captured by the so-called Tiger of Tokchon but were freed by his own daughter who also helped her wipe out his troops[2]. Captured once again, the pair were rescued this time by Yamakayaka. They were then assigned to capture a Chinese spy named Korea Katie. After destroying an enemy bridge, Kelly and Novak were captured by Yalu River Rosie and forced to build a new one. Using a pontoon system, Kelly set the bridge to flow down river mid transport, foiling Rosie's plans for a surprise attack[44].

Combat and Cookie were next among a troop of American soldiers who assisted in liberating the town of Yongwa from Chinese control. Later, Combat and Cookie inadvertently tricked a Chinese commanding officer into bombing his own men thanks to his misunderstanding of a radio play-by-play of a Yankees and Red Sox baseball game. Later, after taking a hill that was heavily fortified by enemy troops all by his own, Combat was surprised when Major Thorn named it "Kelly Hill" after him[45]. Combat and Cookie then foiled yet another attempt by Yalu River Rosie to escape, destroying an enemy truck convoy in the process. With their friend Yamakayaka having been enlisted into the army, Combat and Cookie were assigned with his basic training. The session was cut short by an attack from the enemy, the two Americans watched in shock as Yama literally used the obstacle course to defeat enemy troops. While on 12 hour leave, Combat and Cookie were captured by a Chinese agent named Manchuria Mary, but the two managed to free themselves, slaying Mary in the process[46]. On August 16th of that year Kelly and Novak crossed over into North Korea destroyed an enemy supply bridge, chased off by enemy soldiers and held their own on a lighthouse[23].

When Yalu River Rosie made another escape attempt this time via helicopter, Combat used his flare gun to light the interior cabin on fire forcing the pilot to land in the prisoners pen. Once again assigned to work with Yamakayaka, Combat and Cookie were ordered by Major Thorn to determine what special service that Yama was best suited for. After seeing his many feats of strength, Kelly suggested to Thorn that Yamakayaka deserved a special service all his own. Rosie attempted yet another escape attempt this time digging a tunnel out from under the American base and then plotted to attack it with aritllery. Not only did Combat and Cookie recapture Rosie, they also got their troops to cover and launched a surprise attack on the unsuspecting Chinese forces[47]. Rosie still made yet another attempt to escape, this time taking Major Thorn as their prisoner. Combat and Cookie managed to rescue the Major, and destroy an enemy base by revealing it to bombers. In one of their more strange encounters, Combat and Cookie encountered and stole a massive mechanized dragon which they loaded with American forces and used for a surprise attack on Chinese forces[48].

Not long after, Combat and Cookie foiled an attempt by gorilla soldiers to blow up American troops who were crossing a bridge, using tires filled with TNT[17]. Due to their constant interference in the war, Combat and Cookie ended up with a bounty on their head by communist leaders. They were hunted by a bounty hunter named Muktong Mollie who set them free after she helped capture them and collected the reward so that an even larger price be put on their head for her to collect. Out on patrol with Yamakayaka again, the massive sumo helped them fight through Chinese supply lines, forcing the enemy to surrender when they ran out of ammo[10]. When Combat went on leave, he asked Yamakayaka to keep Cookie safe during his absence. When Combat returned to active duty he and Cookie were captured by Korea Katie who sought revenge against the two soldiers. They were rescued by Katie's sister Koo who sought to redeem the shame that Katie placed upon their family and seeming slew Katie while rescuing the two Americans[1].

Captured by Red Mary, Combat and Cookie escaped with Chinese defector General Wu and helped capture a new prototype plane[7]. Captured by Chinese forces again, the pair are offered freedom if Combat can beat their leader in one-on-one combat. Although the commanding officer tries to ringe on the deal, Combat defeats him and they escape anyway[11]. Major Thorn next assigned the pair to learn the secret locations of gorilla forces hiding in South Korea by capturing Colonel Fejin and obtaining his secrets, leading to a clash with the Panther Lady. The pair capture both Fajin and the Panther Lady, finding the secret notes were being smuggled in the stomachs of the Panther Lady's pet panthers[49]. The pair were assigned to guard the Panther Lady, but she broke out of her prison during a sneak attack. Chasing after her the pair found themselves being fought over by their many enemies including Yalu River Rosie, Korea Katie, Muktong Mollie, the Panther Lady, and General Olga. Their fighting over each other insured that Combat and Cookie were able to escape[16]. Captured by Chinese forces again, the pair escaped thanks to the help of Colonel Collin's daughter Cathy who was also captured by the enemy. The trio then sabotaged enemy rockets before fleeing the scene[15]. Shortly thereafter the two American soldiers uncovered a storehouse of Chinese propaganda films and burned them all except on reel that they thought contained important information. Taking it back to base they were commended until the reel was played and they found it only contained a Buck Duck cartoon[12]. They later tricked Chinese forces to bomb their own bases by inadvertently switching maps of UN targets[13]. The pair later recovered the plans to a secret weapon that was tattooed on the backs of Chinese officials[5].

Later they encountered a massive Chinese built tank which was to be used to crush the entire continent of Korea and then the rest of the world. Captured, the pair were to be forced into slave labor to build more, but managed to break free and destroy the single tank that the Chinese had in operation[20]. Shortly thereafter, Major Thorn was captured by communist forces. Combat and Cookie rescued the Major and others from their prisoner of war camp and destroyed two trains carrying enemy troops and weapons upon their escape[19]. Later they helped liberate a stolen Budda statue for the people of Mukyong[4]. Shortly thereafter the pair helped resistance fighter Soo-Lu free captured South Koreans who were forced to fight for Foy-Yun's gorilla army[6]. Combat and Cookie were later injured combating Chinese forces and were put under the care of American nurses, one of whom Combat fell madly in love with. They were all captured by Chinese forces, but Combat saved the day when he blew up a cache of dynamite allowing them to escape. Hoping his victory would cause the nurse to love him also, Combat's hopes were dashed when he soon learned that the nurse was married and her husband was one of his fellow soldiers[14].

For the remainder of the Korean War, Combat and Cookie fought along side a new Baker Company unit under the command of Major Thorn. Their first recorded mission was using fuel from a gasoline dump to burn down an enemy supply bridge. After this Combat rescued Cookie from enemy soldiers who were hiding amphibious tanks behind a waterfall[8]. They later destroyed a communist supply train shortly thereafter. The pair were captured by communist troops and placed in a POW camp. They were freed with the help of a double-agent named Mousey[21]. On another mission, Combat and Cookie were struck with amnesia after a battle, however this did not prevent them from carrying out their mission to destroy an enemy train yard, and found their memory restored shortly thereafter after successive blows to the head. Combat and Cookie later helped Baker Company defend the town of Husan[22]. Later they liberated the town of Karyoju from enemy tanks. The pair were also instrumental in finding a secret enemy aircraft factory along the Han River[24]. Not long after this Combat and Cookie recovered secret plans for a massive communist offensive after rescuing a Korean family, this information assisted an adequate United Nations response. Soon after, Combat rescued Cookie from yet another prisoner of war camp, helping free other POWs and destroying the artillery cannons the camps were built around[25]. Soon after with Baker Company, Combat and Cookie helped route communist forces at Hill 313, then helped clear out communist forces from an ancient temple without destroying it[26]. The pair were also instrumental in foiling the test of a new communist tank when they dumped a bee hive into the barrel. In their last recorded mission during the war, Combat and Cookie were captured by communist forces only to be released by double-agents working on the inside[27].

Post-Korean War

Hank Kelly (Earth-616) Military Police (Earth-616)

Combat Kelly in the Military Police.

Following the Korean War, Combat Kelly and Cookie Novak were stationed in Military Police in the American Occupied Zone of Germany. When the pair succeeded in stopping a spy from smuggling secrets into the Russian Zone, they were both promoted to the rank of Sergeant[14]. While on another patrol of the American Zone, Combat and Cookie stumbled upon stolen Nazi loot that was stashed by Hermann Goering during the fall of Berlin and prevented it from falling into communist hands[9]. Later they prevented communist saboteurs from bombing a food distribution plant[23].

Combat Kelly's subsequent activities are unknown.




Combat Kelly has officially been associated with the Earth-616 Universe in Marvel Atlas #1. The profile on Korea indicate that Combat Kelly was active during the Korean War on Earth-616.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Combat Kelly #20
  2. 2.0 2.1 Combat Kelly #12
  3. 3.0 3.1 Combat Kelly #37
  4. 4.0 4.1 Combat Kelly #32
  5. 5.0 5.1 Combat Kelly #28
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Combat Kelly #33
  7. 7.0 7.1 Combat Kelly #21
  8. 8.0 8.1 Combat Kelly #38
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Combat Kelly #35
  10. 10.0 10.1 Combat Kelly #19
  11. 11.0 11.1 Combat Kelly #22
  12. 12.0 12.1 Combat Kelly #26
  13. 13.0 13.1 Combat Kelly #27
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Combat Kelly #34
  15. 15.0 15.1 Combat Kelly #25
  16. 16.0 16.1 Combat Kelly #24
  17. 17.0 17.1 Combat Kelly #18
  18. 18.0 18.1 Combat Kelly #30
  19. 19.0 19.1 Combat Kelly #31
  20. 20.0 20.1 Combat Kelly #29
  21. 21.0 21.1 Combat Kelly #39
  22. 22.0 22.1 Combat Kelly #40
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Combat Kelly #36
  24. 24.0 24.1 Combat Kelly #41
  25. 25.0 25.1 Combat Kelly #42
  26. 26.0 26.1 Combat Kelly #43
  27. 27.0 27.1 Combat Kelly #44
  28. Combat Kelly #1
  29. Combat Kelly #2
  30. Combat Kelly #3
  31. Combat Kelly #4
  32. Combat Kelly #5
  33. Combat Kelly #6
  34. Battlefront #6
  35. Combat Kelly #7
  36. Battlefront #7
  37. Combat Kelly #8
  38. Battlefield #8
  39. Combat Kelly #9
  40. Battlefront #9
  41. Combat Kelly #10
  42. Combat Kelly #11
  43. Battlefront #11
  44. Combat Kelly #13
  45. Combat Kelly #14
  46. Combat Kelly #15
  47. Combat Kelly #16
  48. Combat Kelly #17
  49. Combat Kelly #23



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