Pooch: You're talking about declarin' war on the Central Intelligence Agency.
Cougar: They started it.
A largely unknown comic book series by Vertigo Comics
about Black Ops who were betrayed by their handler, a CIA
mastermind called Max, and presumed to be dead. Years later, the Losers come back for some payback. The series run for 32 issues (August, 2003 - March, 2006). A film adaptation was released in April 23, 2010
that was pretty much Adaptation Distillation
(most of the first volume and some parts of the fourth).
Named after a DC Comics squad
of the same name who fought in World War II
, but are otherwise unrelated.Members:There are five volumes encompassing the entire story:
- Ante Up (2004)
- Double Down (2004)
- Trifecta (2005)
- Close Quarters (2005)
- Endgame (2006)
- Actor Allusion: the office scene ends with Jensen (Chris Evans) claiming to possess telekinetic powers.
- Adorkable: Jensen (at least in the movie).
- Anti-Hero: The majority the losers Are Type IV, while Aisha is a Type V.
- Anyone Can Die
- Arc Words: "Vaya con Dios, angelitos."
- Ascended Extra: Wade only appeared in the first few issues of the comic before dying horribly. In the film he's placed as Max's Dragon.
- Badass Bookworm: Jensen, especially in the movie.
- Badass Grandpa: Stegler. Never mentioned how old he is, but he's noted as being a bit of a dinosaur around the CIA offices.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Since this series is mostly about the CIA this trope pops up quite commonly with the most noteworthy examples being Clay, the leader of the Losers, and Max.
- Behind the Black: The book's London arc opens with close-ups of Clay, Jensen, Pooch and Cougar tersely discussing their situation, acknowledging they're surrounded by enemies, hopelessly outnumbered and need to work out a way to get through them. The POV then pulls back to a wide shot, and it turns out they're debating how to get through a crowd to the bar.
- Big Damn Heroes: Couple times. The Losers for the children and later Aisha for the Losers.
- In the finale of the comic, Pooch shows up to save the team from the oil rig, although only Jensen makes it.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Losers stop Max's plan to start World War 3 and insure global American dominace, but Aisha betrays the team and kills Clay by dropping a WP grenade next to him. Cougar is mortally wounded trying to escape, and ends up detonating a nuke to destroy Max and his country. Aisha's last appearance has her fighting 100 of Max's goons with no indication she got far enough away from the blast in time. Jensen and Pooch manage to make a clean getaway and it's made clear nobody who wants them dead knows they survived.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Aisha.
- Brick Joke: In the movie (see Real Men Wear Pink below). After the first appearance of the Petunias tee, Jensen is shown doing research on their opponents, the Marigolds - which turns out to be comprised entirely of Huge Schoolgirls. Later during the credits, we see the actual match.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In the movie, Max does not remember setting up anyone and has no idea who Clay and his team are. Wade has to remind him about Bolivia for Max to even get a vague recollection. Max claims he can't be bothered to remember every time he has someone betrayed and/or killed.
- California Doubling: A rare double subversion. The entire film was shot in Puerto Rico, including a segment set in...the Port of Los Angeles.
- Car Fu: Twice in the Montserrat part of the book. The first time Clay takes out a paratrooper in mid-air. The second time they hijack a tilt-a-rotor by driving into it...and on top of the unsuspecting welcoming committee.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The militant Fahd, who Aisha bails out of American custody, returns for the final arc in a BIG way. So too does the Sheik the team initially encountered in Qatar.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: After the disastrous mission where he lost a few fingers, Pooch quits the team. He later pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Jensen in the finale.
- Cold Sniper: Cougar is a partial example because, even though he is the quietest of the group, he does show emotions and even called off an air strike because there were children in the compound.
- Companion Cube: Pooch's bobblehead chihuahua in The Movie.
- Dead Man Switch: Max arms the sonic bomb by pressing and keeping his thumb on the button. Releasing it resumes the countdown, which is already under 10 seconds.
- Destructo-Nookie: Clay and Aisha's hotel-room duke-out looks like the roughest foreplay imaginable.
- The Dragon: Max has one in The Movie, named Wade.
- In the comic book Wade is killed fairly early in the story, and Roque becomes The Dragon to Max.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: (Movie again.) Done by the Losers themselves, throwing their dogtags into the wreckage of the copter to get themselves pronounced KIA.
- Duct Tape for Everything: Pooch uses it to assemble an improvised RPG.
- Clay also uses it to "disarm" a Dead Man Switch by taping the button. No further steps of actually disarming the device are shown.
- Dying Momentof Awesome:Cougar.
- Empathy Doll Shot: The burning teddy bear in the helicopter wreckage.
- Mr. Fanservice: The whole goddamn team. (Including Aisha.)
- Even Bad Men Love Their Extended Families: Movie Wade is not pleased with being ordered to kill some random team he assembled to take down the Losers for this reason.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Losers aren't evil, but they do kill for a living, and even they are completely unwilling to allow 25 children to be killed while trying to take out a target.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Zoe Saldana is fuckin' hot.
- Evil Is Hammy: Jason Patric as Max seems to get the idea, but doesn't fully exploit it. Shame.
- Eye Scream: Roque learns not to fuck with Clay in close quarters.
- Five-Man Band:
- Female Gaze: The women on the floor Jensen's elevator accidentally stops on while his, ahem, dangly parts are exposed. They can't be blamed, though: Chris Evans is Mr. Fanservice to the umpteenth degree.
- Finger Gun: Jensen in the last part of the movie's office infiltration scene.
- Fingore: In the book, Roque introduces a pair of wire cutters to Pooch's pinkie.
- Friend to All Children: Cougar.
- Gory Discretion Shot: See Fingore. And be grateful.
- Gun AND Knife Porn: What the Losers are wagering while playing Liar's Poker.
- Hacked by a Pirate: Jensen often has to break into systems on a timetable, but if he's on his own schedule, he likes to work wearing a pirate hat. And only a pirate hat.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Max was originally created to ensure and protect American dominance through less-than-legal means, but during a Villainous Breakdown he tries to order a nuclear strike on Washington.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: (In the movie, obviously.) Clay is played by John Winchest--um, The Comedi-er, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Oh man, where to start? The men who call in an airstrike on the team when they have grenades, just 'cause? Or the Arab militant who accidentally fires an RPG in the air and doesn't notice until too late that it's coming back down? Or...you know what, just expect there to be a lot of them, complete with Oh Crap and This Is Gonna Suck moments.
- Infant Immortality: Has Max blowing up a helicopter full of children been brought up yet?
- Insult Backfire:
Roque: See you in hell, Pooch.
Pooch: I'll be waiting.
- Jerkass: What Max is to literally everyone around him.
- Kick the Dog: How else do you explain blowing up a helicopter full of children?
- Of course, the movie is one long continuous Kick the Dog moment for Max.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Camera-guided, anyway. After Roque captures Pooch and cuts off one of his fingers, he prepares to blow his head off. Then Jensen, remote-piloting a bomb-disposal drone, shoots Roque with the drone's shotgun.
- The Last DJ: Agent Stegler is a textbook case.
- Male Gaze: All the guys (those in the audience included) for Aisha. But can you blame them?
- Mexican Standoff: Aisha vs. the Losers. Includes a Crowning Moment of Funny from (an unarmed) Jensen:
Jensen: Ohhhhh...shit. She's got a gun and...it's pointed at my dick. CLAY, IT'S POINTED AT MY DICK!!
Pooch: Would you rather it was pointed at your face?
Jensen: I KNOW IT MAKES NO SENSE, BUT YES!
[Aisha aims at his face]
- Mythology Gag: Max in the Movie sometimes wears a white glove or a black glove on his right hand depending on the scene. This is because in the comics, Max is actually two people who are twins.
- Also Max going from plunging unto the water to being on a bus within 5 minutes, is also possibly invoking that.
- Name's the Same: The Losers (original), who fought Nazis and dinosaurs.
- There is a possible Shout-Out to the original in the comics; Clay shares a surname with one of the original Losers, and he mentions that his grandfather was in World War II. Pooch is named after the dog kept by Gunner and Sarge of the original squad, as well.
- Never Found the Body: Lampshaded when Roque turns up alive and well unexpectedly and belts the crap out of Clay, telling him to always check for a body. Clay takes it to heart; after a later episode wherein the hunt for Roque winds up sinking a couple of ships, someone asks if Clay thinks Roque is dead. Clay says he won't believe it until he sees a body.
- In the final scene of the comic, Pooch and Jensen are talking about how it's almost impossible Aisha could've killed a hundred man and escaped New Jerusalem before the nuke went off. But they can't be totally sure, because it's Aisha they're talking about.
- Nice Hat: Cougar: "Never touch the hat."
- Jensen gets one too. A PIRATE hat. Of course, the situation he uses it in, well...:
Jensen, I have to ask... are you hacking in your undies again? Jensen:
No way, Jose! I'm wearing a HAT
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dear god, just about every volume has at LEAST one.
- Non Sequitur: Jensen gets off a doozy in the movie.
Jensen: Did you know that cats can make one thousand different sounds and dogs can only make ten? Cats, man. Not to be trusted.
Pooch: You know what? Do me a favor—NEVER say that again.
- Nonverbal Miscommunication: When on top of a tall building, villain nods to his agent, who then throws a businessman down. Villain then "complains" that it wasn't that kind of nod and he just wanted the agent to beat the victim.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Max is described to have the ability to be in more than one place at a time.
- Oh Crap: In the book, Pooch points out that the drone behind Roque is equipped with a shotgun. And Jensen is remote-aiming it at him.
- Come to think of it, there's a LOT of moments like this.
- Outrun the Fireball: with a schoolbus in the opening of the movie.
- President Evil: Max's grand plan.
- The Quiet One: Cougar
- Race Lift: Aisha goes from Afghan to Bolivian.
- Though she still has an Arabic name, so maybe she's an Afghan who just happens to be in Bolivia.
- In the comics, Cougar is shown as having blonde/brown hair, and generally Caucasian features. In the movie, he's much more explicitly Hispanic.
- The actor is Spanish, while the character may or may not be Mexican (cowboy boots & The Hat? Not exactly native Iberian wear, here...)
- Also in the movie, Roque is African American, while his ethnicity is less defined in the comics
- If it counts, no one has actually *complained* about the changes. Quite the contrary...
- Real Men Wear Pink: Literally in The Movie with Jensen in a Petunias (his niece's soccer team) tee. "What? They're in the playoffs..."
- Red Right Hand: Max in the Movie has a nasty burn on his right hand, so wears a glove on it almost all the time. The glove is sometimes black and sometimes white.
- Sadistic Choice: Lampshaded in the climax of movie.
- Sedgwick Speech: A mook even uses the "couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" line shortly before getting a bullet in the head.
- Shoot the Money: The sequence on top of the telescope seems to have benn put in purely to amp up the "exotic locale" factor.
- Shout-Out: Jensen sneaking through an office, even saying "I need an exit."
- Shut Up, Kirk!: In the book, Clay is stalking Wade through a hangar, ranting about how he knew it would come down to the two of them. Wade says "You talk too much" and shoots him through the shoulder.
- Single-Minded Twins: Max
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Aisha is suspected of being one initially, but then it turns out Roque is really The Starscream and Aisha goes all Big Damn Heroes on them. In the book the same thing happens at the start, but then right at the series conclusion she reveals that she's been one all along, and now they've served their purpose she doesn't need to save them.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Aisha bailing out the Losers with an RPG. More like Regular Girl HUGE Gun, really.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Clay, Cougar and Max. And Aisha. Maybe. It's not clear if she died in the book.
- The Spook: Max is treated like this during the first half of the comic book's run, with several characters doubting that he even exists.
- Steal the Surroundings: The eponymous group steal an entire armored car to obtain the hard drive it was carrying.
- Taking You with Me: Clay to Max.
- The Movie
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "That's right, bitches! I got a crossbow!"
- War for Fun and Profit: One of the ways that Max gets his funding for his grand plan is P.A.M. (Policy Analysis Market) a special program that reads changes in the stock markets as a way of predicting terrorist attacks and also allows investors to earn huge profits by betting on the probability of said attacks. Max also runs a special outfit called P.2.O.G. (Proactive Preemptive Operations Group) whose objective is to provoke terrorism. You do the math.
- With Catlike Tread
Roque: Gee, I hope they don't see us sitting in this bright yellow Pinto.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Aisha hits the boys with this once it looks like Max is dead.