Real Name: Prviate Larry Wagner

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Soldier, former country and western singer

Group Membership: Deadly Dozen

Affiliations: Howling Commandos (Isadore "Izzy" Cohen, Nick Fury, Gabe Jones, Eric Koenig, Robert "Reb" Ralston), Sam Sawyer

Enemies: Captain Conner, Nazis, Dr. Steinem

Known Relatives: Unnamed ex-wife

Aliases: "Hillbilly"

Base of Operations: Able Company base, England
formerly, West Plains, Missouri

First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#98 (May, 1972)

Powers/Abilities: Larry Wagner was a skilled country and western performer who would bring his guitar into combat with him. He also wielded a rifle, and could speak German fluently.

History: (Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#98 (fb) - BTS) - Larry "Hillbilly" Wagner was a country and western performer who once sang at the Grand Ol' Opry. He he decided to serve as a private in World War II, but was arrested for repeated intoxication. Captain Sam Sawyer decided to recruit him for the Deadly Dozen squadron.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#98) - Wagner was introduced to Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan, who was to be the leader of the Deadly Dozen. As Dugan began to train the Deadly Dozen, he noticed that Wagner carried his guitar everywhere with him. Wagner explained that it was the guitar he played at the Grand Ol' Opry, and that it meant a lot to him. Wagner promised not to back-talk Dugan if he could keep the guitar, and Dugan agreed.

Wagner joined the Deadly Dozen on their first mission: to capture a band of German spies who had landed on English soil. During the fight, Wagner struck one of the Nazis down with his guitar, and was mortified that he had wrecked his beloved instrument.

(Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#1 (fb)) - Wagner was introduced to Combat Kelly, newly assigned as Dugan's replacement as leader of the Deadly Dozen. He joined the Deadly Dozen on a mission to Germany to destroy a new German jet plane created by Dr. Steinem. The Deadly Dozen successfully raided the Luftwaffe complex where the jet was stored. Kelly had Wagner create a diversion by singing his country music into their P.A. system, startling the Germans with off-key notes.

(Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#1) - Kelly had Wagner and the others destroy the jet plane using grenades. The destruction of the jet threatened to set off all of the jet fuel in the complex, and the Dozen escaped before the explosion destroyed the entire complex. They then met up with their rendezvous plane, and returned to England.

(Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#3) - In January, 1945, the Deadly Dozen entered the frontlines of the war during the push into Germany following the Battle of the Bulge. During a lull in the action, Kelly narrated to them the story of how he became a convict. Not long after he finished his tale, the fighting resumed.

(Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#104) - The Deadly Dozen were commanded by Captain Conner, and the squad began to realize that Conner was unrealistic about the battlefield conditions. Sgt. Fury's Howling Commandos came to assist the Deadly Dozen, reuniting Wagner with Dum-Dum Dugan, but Captain Conner cracked-up when he learned that thousands of German soldiers were headed for their position.

(Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#4) - Wagner was assigned with Michael "Bullseye" Miller to bring Captain Conner back to headquarters, but along the way, they were ambushed by Germans. Wagner was shot in the head, and died instantly.

Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers and Mike Esposito.

by Prime Eternal

Larry "Hillbilly" Wagner should not be confused with:

Images taken from:
Combat Kelly#1, page 14, panel 6
Sgt. Fury#98, page 1, panel 7

Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#1 (June, 1972) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos#104 (November, 1972) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Combat Kelly and the Deadly Dozen#3-4 (October-December, 1972) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)

Last updated: 06/21/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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