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YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the comic book:

  • Anvilicious: Depends largely on the storywriter, but many stories (such as the very second issue - They Called Him Coward!) absolutely want you to understand, usually through heavy repetition, that war has no place for cowards (who eventually turn out to be so called cowards after all). Themes of friendship through hardship; Two people hate each others guts at the start of the story, are friends by the last page, and not judging people based on appearances are also frequently dropped anvils.
  • Bizarro Episode: At least two issues have involved Time Travel. No, really.
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    • #3888 Time Of Fear is one example. Though to be fair, the device that caused it was supposed to have a completely different function.
    • And at one point, His Majesty's Armed Forces fought ninjas.
  • Complete Monster:
    • "Island of Terror!": SS Captain Hans Wegener wants to punish the world for the fall of the Third Reich. Knowing that Dutch scientist Ernst Dortmunn's process to generate geothermal energy—by sinking a shaft in the earth's mantle—causes earthquakes, he tricked Major Shiro Eiko into seizing Dortmunn's Pacific island with the promise that it would help scuttle the Allies' invasion plans. Wegener plans to detonate modified torpedoes at the bottom of the shaft to cause much more powerful earthquakes, with the aim of creating a tsunami that would scour the Pacific; this would doom any Allied invasion plans, but would also doom Japan, to Wegener's apathy.
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    • "Nazi Nightmare": Nazis Bernhard Gruber and SS Colonel Hartmann are the masterminds of "Plan Cuckoo", with the aim of plunging America and Russia into a nuclear war. Tiring of his prisoners, Gruber callously tries to execute them all as they leave to begin their plot, while those who survive are destined to die from radiation poisoning. Hartmann disguises himself and flees to Argentina, where he has neighboring ranches burnt down before reuniting with Gruber. Bringing former Major Ken Horton to his and Gruber's underground bunker, the duo reveal a score of atomic bombs they intend to use for their diabolical designs. The next morning, Hartmann uses Ken for a sadistic hunt.
    • "Fight—Or Die!": Obergruppenfuhrer Manfred Lutz is the commandant of Dunsberg Castle. He desires mankind to bow before him; to this end he gives prisoners to Doctor Anton Steffanberg to perfect his influenza virus, which he plans to release and kill millions. In the meantime, he forces prisoners to fight his champion to the death for his entertainment.
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    • "Convict Commandos-Rain of Terror": Nazis von Erlich and Gruppenführer Horst Nagel are the masterminds behind the plot to use acid rain against the Allies in North Africa and Russia. It's first used against a group of Maquis, causing Indian Professor Chandrapalli Ram to investigate; it is a ploy to get the anti-British Ram to defect, and apparently succeeds. Von Erlich decides to kill Ram when he's served his purpose; when Ram turns the tables and kills von Erlich instead, Nagel tries to kill Ram with the acid rain.
    • "Ramsey's Raiders—Race Against Time": Colonel Strucker and Professor Faas are the Nazi masterminds behind the plot to use nerve agents against the Allies, including one called Raxin. When they realize that Faas won't be able to finish before Germany falls, they make plans to flee to Chile—eliminating the other scientists in the process because they knew too much—so that Faas can continue his work there. While he's doing so, they'd content themselves with releasing Raxin on New York City.

YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the movie:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Jenny is shockingly calm for someone who just watched her father murder a man in rather gruesome way. To be fair, it's not like anyone else is doing better.
  • Awesome Music: James Horner's steel drum score. It is no surprise that the score album sold out in one day (still the record for the fastest sellout in the history of La-La Land Records).
  • Base-Breaking Character: Cindy's clearly there for sex appeal and comic relief. How successful she is at either of those WILL vary depending on the viewer.
  • Crazy Awesome: John Matrix. The whole film, actually.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Arnie slaughtering an island full of soldiers? Hilarious.
  • Cult Classic: While nowhere near as popular as films Arnie would later star in, it's a perfect example of 80s ham and over the top action which has gained it a following.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Sully. The dude is a Casanova Wannabe with a humiliating memetic death.
  • Evil Is Cool: Henchmen Bennett (for being Matrix's Psycho for Hire Blood Knight equal in combat, especially hand to hand combat), Sully (a Laughably Evil Smug Snake) and Cooke (an ex-Green Beret who is also efficient in hand to hand combat).
  • Foe Yay: Bennett gets very excited over the prospect of sticking his knife in Matrix.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The brief mall shootout, as such a thing has been alarmingly happening more and more in real life.
  • Ho Yay: Perhaps the most unintentionally homoerotic movie ever made, particularly where Bennett is concerned. "I DON'T NEED THE GIRL!"
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm Charm: This movie betrays so much common sense that it wraps around 360 degree to be awesome again.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Bill Paxton is a radio operator. Alyssa Milano as Matrix's daughter.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • When Arnie is holding Sully over a cliff, you can clearly see the wire running up his pants. It's that kind of movie.
    • Several of Arnie's grenades send soldiers flying through the air. Not only is the explosion itself a) a huge distance from the soldiers and, b) relatively small in comparison to the results, but the soldiers are clearly shown being launched off hydraulic platforms, with the propulsion rods on obvious display, as well as the grass mats used to disguise them shown flying as well.
    • All the guns in this movie practically have no recoil. At all. Arnie fires a machine gun one handed, and he barely misses.
    • When Matrix wraps Cindy's car around a telephone pole at the end of the car chase with Sully, the head on a dummy filling in for Cindy separates from the rest of the dummy body and flies into the air. (watch it frame-by-frame)
    • Did anybody notice the dummy soldiers standing at attention outside the island's buildings throughout the massive explosion near the end of the movie? There are multiple opportunities to see the obvious mannequins, since this explosion is shown multiple times from multiple angles, and several of the shots are duplicated.
      • Those same explosions are supposed to have been caused by a few claymore mines that Matrix placed outside a few buildings... but all the buildings are seen exploding from the inside.
    • During the mall scene there is a part where Matrix swings down from the top floor to the ground floor. During this scene it's very obvious that a stunt double was used.
      • Arnie's stunt double can also be spotted if one looks closely at shots of (1) Matrix being hit by Sully car in the mall parking garage, (2) certain shots where Matrix drives Cindy's red convertible, (3) Matrix driving a bulldozer through the front entrance of the military surplus strore.
      • A quick shot of Matrix throwing Cooke through a motel room door features actor Bill Duke replaced by either a dummy or a stuntman in a very obvious rubber mask.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Bennett, who is stated to be John's only rival when it comes to being a One-Man Army. So why did they cast a guy whose muscle mass is at most a tenth of Arnold's? It even made number 1 on this list of "Biggest Mismatches in Movie Fight History". This is in looks only as his acting was said to be enough to scare Arnold.

YMMV tropes and audience reactions for the video game and Mercs:

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