The comic, “Mister Marine Corps” comes from the 1952 publication Marines #7, a compilation of news, photojournalism, and comics printed by the US Marine Corps. The central character, “Mr. Marine Corps,” is Lou Diamond, an aging Marine whose legend precedes him. This “Marine Hall of Fame” feature seeks to bolster the mythology that surrounds him, by publishing the exaggerated and fictional reports of his exploits. He was a veteran of the both World Wars, and is repeatedly depicted as being in better shape than the younger soldiers.
This “Marine Corps Hall of Fame” feature crafted an idyllic narrative of a legendary hegemonic male whose athletic and military prowess are impressive, despite is advancing age. His competitiveness and intense masculine bravado drive the story, and he backs each up with his impeccable skills.
These skills provide him a masculine platform from which he can criticize, mock, and emasculate the other soldiers. When a colonel complains that his advance is held up by ineffective mortar fire, Lou marches to the mortarmen, greeting them, “All right what are you guys doin, thrown’ rice at a bride? Lemme at that weapon!”[^] This statement feminizes the ineffective soldiers by accusing them of performing with the delicate act of tossing rice at a wedding. By equating their inability to perform with the tossing of rice at a wedding – the ultimate feminine imagery – he is criticizing and scolding them by equating their actions and abilities with femininity.
Lou soon finds the cause of the soldiers’ femininity, however, and takes steps to help them. He asks what the men have been eating, and when they tell him k-rations, he exclaims ”K-RATIONS??? No wonder you can’t fight!” and then goes to the Army base to steal food from the quarter-master.[^] The narration goes on to say, “Needless to say, Edson’s men moved faster in spite of the extra weight some of them were carrying…”[^] The mortarmen ultimately were not feminine or unmasculine, they were just starved and unable to eat as much as a man should. Once the men were cured of their feminine impairments, they were able to fight on like idyllic Marines. With the additional chow from the quarter-master, the men were able take out enemy installments rather than simply throw rice at the bride.