Waiting for the new episodes of Agent Carter, we got some new pics from the upcoming The Iron Ceiling. In this episode, Peggy Carter will be assigned a proper mission finally, but she’ll need some help, and she’ll call her friends from the war times, the Howling Commandos… but they will have a rather different formation since World War II, with new recruits joining the ranks. One of this newcomers will be Happy Sam Sawyer, a captain from the Nisei Division portrayed by Leonard Roberts. In the show, the character will have his race changed (nothing new) and will be portrayed as Afro-American instead of Caucasian, thus possibly leading to the revelation that he’s actually the grandfather Antoine Triplett spoke about in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Anyway, it’s pretty ironic to see him being portrayed as a rookie in the Commandos, considering that in the comics he’s been the very first one. Let’s see together.
Samuel Sawyer was a responsible and serious American citizen, who joined US Army out of pure sense of duty and followed with growing concern the escalation of violence in Europe in the 1930s. When after Germany‘s attack on Poland the United States temporized instead of intervening, Sawyer decided it was time for him to do something, and he traveled to Europe and offered his services as a US Army’s lieutenant to the British Army, an offer that was gladly accepted. As his first mission in a war-ridden Europe, Sawyer was sent to Marrakech, in Morocco, where he had to escort a German defector scientist, Wilhelm Steuben, safely to England. Despite the intervention of some corrupt French officer and local criminals, the mission was a success, and Sawyer’s reputation grew in the army. In order to prepare him for further missions, the British sent Lt. Sawyer to Finley’s Flying Circus to have him trained in parachuting; once in there, Sawyer met other two Americans who had made his same choice, Nick Fury and Red Hargrove, a couple he formed a bond with. Red also nicknamed him “Happy Sam” because of his constantly serious face: Sawyer didn’t like it, but the name was catchy and everybody started using it. When Germany attacked Holland, the British Army ordered Sawyer to go there to save a British agent, and Happy Sam chose Fury and Hargrove to accompany him. Thanks to Nick Fury and to an American strongman they found in place, Dum-Dum Dugan, the mission was another success. To that mission many others followed, until Japan attacked the United States in Pearl Harbor: Sawyer was called back to the States, where he met Dugan and Fury again. Finally, he was serving his own country in the war, after years of serving on his own initiative.
In 1942 Happy Sam Sawyer was sent to North Africa, where he became a war hero, but where he also received a serious wound that prevented him from joining combat missions ever again. Now unfit for active duty Sawyer, promoted captain, kept fighting in other ways: he reunited Nick Fury and Dum-Dum Dugan, and made them the commanding officers of the First Attack Squad, an elite team selected by him personally that would have become famous as the Howling Commandos. Sawyers himself provided the Commandos with their training, and assigned them the difficult missions other squads wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. Several times Fury got reprimands from other officers because he didn’t go by the book during his missions, but Sawyers always stood up for him. Seeing the positive results of the First Attack Squad, Sawyer was entrusted with the formation and training of other similar squads: the second, nicknamed the Maulers, led by Sgt. Bull McGiveney; the all-Asian Nisei Squad, led by Jim Morita; the National Guard’s Commando Squad, aka the Missouri Marauders, led by Sgt. Bob Jenkins; and the elite squad known as the Deadly Dozen, led by Combat Kelly. Sawyer had quite a talent for identifying individuals with exceptional personal talents, and to assemble them in perfectly efficient teams, whose strength came by the unique skills of each members and the teamwork they provided together. Sawyer formed, trained and led each one of these groups, acting from behind the curtains for most of the time, but often disobeying his doctors’ and superior officers’ orders and joining his men in active combat. Nobody could keep a man like Sawyer behind a desk for too long, not even the President himself.
Happy Sam Sawyer is a serious and continuously frowned man, fiercely loyal to his country but even more to the men at his command. An extremely well-trained soldier, Sawyer is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, a nearly-infallible marksman, a skilled parachutist and a good athlete; not even his incapacitating wound managed to dull his greatest skill: his tactical mind, that makes him one of the most precious assets in the American Army. A superb tactician, instructor and leader, Happy Sam Sawyer is a true war hero, a man who’ll never stop fighting for what he firmly believes to be the right cause.