A character in Kurt Busiek
's comic series Astro City
, first appearing in Astro City vol. 1, issue 2.
The Old Soldier appears when America is most in peril, appearing in 1863, 1898, 1918, 1944, 1959, and 1975. Internet sources suggest that the first four appearances are:
*The Battle of Gettysburg (1863)
*The Battle of San Juan Hill (1898)
*The Saint Michael Offensive (1918) and
*The Battle of the Bulge (1944)
The main story of Astro City #2 takes place in 1959, and features the Old Soldier assisting the Honor Guard in fighting off Shirak the Devourer, a shark god bent on destroying/feeding on the earth.
The Fall of Saigon (1975) is the last known appearance of the Old Soldier.
The Old Soldier wears armored guantlets and a breastplate over a shirt of chainmail. His head is bandaged (a possible homage to Archibald Willard's painting The Spirit of '76). Draped over his armor is the Betsy Ross American flag (13 stars, arranged in a circle where our 50 stars now appear). He carries a canteen, rifle with affixed bayonet (and ammo on his belt), flintlock pistol, grenades, and a broadsword.
Busiek, Kurt. Astro City: Life in the Big City (trade paperback) La Jolla, CA: Homage Comics 1995, 1996.
Sullivan, Shannon Patrick"Kurt Busiek's Astro City: The Annotations." Online. 19 May, 2003. Available