The story of Dick Wingate encompasses a number of important aspects of masculinity and the military. Dick joined the Navy because he wanted to work with emerging technology, but was unable to pay for school. He joined the Navy to get training to prepare him for a job outside the Navy, or to offer him the security of a career and pension. Once he enrolled in the Navy and began working on advanced, top secret projects, he encountered upon intrigue, adventure, and exotic women. While this comic constructed Dick as a “Big Wheel” in various different ways, it showed that Dick was a “Big Wheel” first as a high school football player.
Just after introducing Dick as some sort of technician in the Navy, on a “mighty important” mission working on the Navy’s new electronic weapons, the narrator notes that he has come ”…a long way from playing his new role back to his days playing football for Centerville High…”[^] Although the piece downplays Dick’s excitement about his football playing, his identity as a superior athlete is a primary way in which Dick is given an identity and a history. His skills on the football field are also clear. He wasn’t simply an athlete – he was a successful athlete and something of a hero. This is illustrated when his friend Joe says that they’ll miss him the next year.[^] Soon after, Dick meets his father outside their home, and his father has heard that he scored two touchdowns in the game that day.[^] Dick once again downplays his success, showing that he is humble, but these two interactions make it clear that Dick has proven his physical ability on the football field and has likely gained some notoriety for his abilities.