WWIII Comics: The Team Yankee Series

I’ve never been what you might consider a comic book connoisseur. The only series I ever followed frequently was the Larry Hama’s GI Joe back in the 80s when I was a kid, as well as an occasional issue of Archie. I was never big into superhero comics back then or at any other time. Once I hit the pre-teen years comic books mostly became a thing of the past. The single exception is the comic book depiction of the World War III classic novel Team Yankee that started coming out in early 1989. The comic version held true to the events of the novel and offered some disturbingly intense graphic images which only brought the novel to life even more. The comic version of Team Yankee was the only comic book that took a rather serious look at World War III in the 1980s. Practically every single WWIII comic book that followed Team Yankee was centered on superheroes saving the day or was sci-fi alien space bats.

As far as I’m concerned, the Team Yankee comic book series set the standard for how a Third World War can be projected in a graphic novel/comic setting. The story was fast paced, didn’t dive into unnecessary details or subplots and most importantly, the battle scenes were vivid and realistic. I’ve included a couple of preview pages from the comics below to serve as a refresher for those of you who haven’t read or thought of this series in years. As well as for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure. 😊

I have talked about these comics before and probably will once our own WWIII comes to a close. However, I will admit that I’ve been searching high and low for other World War III comics that might be worth a look. The good news is I’ve found a couple. The bad news is that I had to go all the way back to the 1950s to find them. Judging by what I’ve seen so far though, it might’ve been worth the effort. We’ll take a brief look at those titles tomorrow or Thursday.

22 Replies to “WWIII Comics: The Team Yankee Series”

  1. There was a hokey comic in the 70’s about a fictitious WWIII. I saw a few comics, and it was bad. I think two of the people were in space orbit during the exchange, and eventually came back. They unearthed a frozen viking (or whatever) suspended in ice, and it went to hell from there…
    The name finally occured to me

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks good – I was never hugely into comics although I did regularly get Warlord and Battle (later it merged with Action to become BattleAction), and occasionally picked up 2000AD. Both had really quite graphic stories on different subjects such as ‘Union Jack’ Jackson (a Royal Marine who somehow had been picked up by the USMC during the Pacific Campaign and still had his No. 1 Mk. III SMLE – hello, ammunition compatibility anyone?), Johnny Red (An RAF pilot who was fighting with the Soviets on the Eastern Front, in a Mk. I Hurricane), Major ‘Eazy’ (an anti-authority WW2 American officer pursuing his own war against the Germans) and perhaps my favourite, Charlie’s War, which followed a young lad as he volunteers (underage), joins up and gets to the trenches just in time for the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and then follows him for the rest of the war. That one really did put the ‘graphic’ in graphic novel. It’s available in hardback volumes.

    There were also other stories such as Invasion 1984 (alien invasion scenario), Death Squad, Hellman, The Sarge, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still have the graphic novel complete with Stars and Stripes bookstore price tag circa 1989! It was an awesome (if graphic) read and the commentary by David Drake added to the novel. Ironically I picked it up at Rhein-Main AB on a trip to Germany.

    Coyle’s earlier books (Team Yankee, Swordpoint, etc.) were great fodder for tactical level game scenarios. Given his background he knew his stuff!

    An acquaintance of mine told me his class was asked by his military science instructor (an Armor Officer) whether they were optimists or pessimists. Pessimists we’re assigned to read Team Yankee; optimists were assigned The Heights of Glory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heights of Glory or the Heights of Courage?

      Swordpoint was a very good novel and yeah, it offered lots of fodder for war game scenarios. I wish that book was available on Kindle too


  4. I love your space bat analogy. The space bat is a technique to have the good guys win without the ugliness of victory. If you want to fight WW 3, you have to consider that lots of good guys will be killed and WMD’s may be used. This blog is gritty and sometimes difficult to read, yet I cannot wait for the email telling me there is an update.

    At the risk of upsetting Dale Brown fans, the use of space bats is why I don’t care for his books. Too many miracles discovered at the last minute in a skunkworks environment run by a rogue, but patriotic, scientist and sponsored by rogue general officer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point about Alien Space Bats and Dale Brown. Aside from The Old Dog, I agree entirely. His later books contain too much ASB.

      I hear you, Ed and thanks. War is nasty and to make it seem as if a Third World War was not bringing on death and destruction would’ve put this blog into Alien Space Bats territory. I couldn’t let that happen


  5. The First couple of issues of Marvels Nth man comic covered World war 3 before it went off the rails and weird . It was great start us commando unit attacking Moscow to free a prisoner . I had great hopes and then it got dashed

    Liked by 1 person

  6. On a different note, I always felt like you: not reading a lot of comic books, but I did enjoy a couple of “graphic novels”. One of them being seasons 3 and 4 of Jericho, a series that aired in the 2000s and was dealing with a “collapse of society” scenario in CONUS. It’s definitely “a child of its age” as they say, tapping heavily into conspiracy theories, deep state fictions etc., but back in the day that meant different things than it does today. Think “X-Files”, not “MAGA”. I absolutely recommend the series and its graphic novels, if you’re into the whole “Twilight: 2000” and post-apo genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jericho! I’ve been waiting for someone to mention that comic and TV series here for MONTHS!! 🙂 I enjoyed the TV series and have read a few sections of the comics. Might be worth it to go back and read them through now


  7. Did you ever play the PC game(s)? They’re no M1 Tank Platoon. Plus there was a sequel that had nothing to do with the book, Pacific Islands (you know, the type of environment where you’d expect to see heavy armor slugging it out…tiny islands in the Pacific (shut up, Japan)). And I’m sure you know about the tabletop wargame too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah I heard about that second installment of Team Yankee PC. Never made sense. I LOVED M-1 Tank Platoon II. Came out when I was in college and I played the hell out of it. Recommend it to anyone who likes tanks and WWIII


      1. For sure. I will say I found the learning curve on M1TP to be a little less steep than M1TP2…sadly M1TP2 doesn’t run well on 64 bit modern systems. 😦 I mean you can sorta-kinda get it to work if you’re willing to fiddle with some 3rd party options. It’s almost worth getting together a Pentium III Win98 system together to run.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. M1TP2 was a beast when it came out. The only computers that handled it well were on campus. The game is available on abandonware sites and I might have to download and play around with the options one day


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