THE 13 WARS OF JOHN SEVERIN: A Birthday Salute

The late artist was born 101 years ago…


Whatever the battle, John Severin (born Dec. 26, 1921; died Feb. 12, 2012) seems to have found himself “there” – at least with his pencil. Whether the war was World War I (the war that was supposed to end all wars), World War II (the big one), the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the American Revolution, the Civil War, or bringing law and order to the Wild West, John Severin was the comic book equivalent of “Kilroy was here.”

Here is to John Severin, perhaps the greatest of all “war correspondents,” with a sampling of 13 of his depictions of our world’s conflicts. (As a side note, Severin served with in the Army during World War II.)

All art penciled and inked by Severin unless noted:

The Roman Empire, 27 BC-476 AD (Two-Fisted Tales #21, May-June 1951, EC). Inks by Bill Elder, script by Harvey Kurtzman.

The Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 (Two-Fisted Tales #29, Sept.-Oct. 1952, EC). George Washington as you’ve never seen him. Inks by Elder, script by Kurtzman.

The Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 (Two-Fisted Tales #28, July-Aug. 1952, EC). Script by Kurtzman.

The Civil War, 1861-1865 (Frontline Combat #9, Nov.-Dec. 1952, EC). Inks by Elder, script by Kurtzman.

The Wild West, 1865-1895 (Prize Comics Western #80, Mar.-Apr. 1950, Prize). Inks by Elder.

The British Raj, 1858-1947 (Two-Fisted Tales #38, July-Aug. 1954, EC)

The Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901 (Semper Fi #4, Mar. 1989, Marvel)

World War I, 1914-1918 (Frontline Combat #2, Sept.-Oct. 1951, EC). Inks by Elder, script by Kurtzman.

World War II, 1939-1945 (Sgt. Fury Annual #4, Aug. 1968, Marvel). Pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Severin.

The First Indochina War, 1946-1954 (Two-Fisted Tales #40, Dec. 1954-Jan. 1955, EC). Script by John Putnam.

The Korean War, 1950-1953 (Frontline Combat #10, Jan.-Feb. 1953, EC). Inks by Elder.

The Vietnam War, 1955-1975 (Semper Fi #1, Dec. 1988, Marvel)

The Lebanese Civil War, 1975-1990 (Semper Fi #7, June 1989, Marvel). Script by Michael P. Palladino.


— JOHN SEVERIN Gets His Due — Illustrated Bio Coming This Fall. Click here.

— 13 SPLASH PAGES: A JACK DAVIS Birthday Celebration. Click here.

PETER BOSCH’s first book, American TV Comic Books: 1940s-1980s – From the Small Screen to the Printed Pagehas just been published by TwoMorrows. He has written articles and conducted celebrity interviews for various magazines and newspapers. Peter lives in Hollywood.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. He also did a few issues of Sgt. Rock, a regular of the Losers and Enemy A e!

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