"The Love Boat"
The Expendables #3 (Dynamite)
Written by Chuck Dixon
Illustrated by Esteve Polls
Colored by Mark Rueda
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Cover by Lucio Parillo
The team launches a risky plan to capture
Notes from the Expendables chronology
The Expendables comic book mini-series was a 4-issue
prequel series to the first movie in the Expendables
Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue
(Where relative, I have added the name of the actor who plays the
character in the movies for aid in visualizing the characters)
(actor Sylvester Stallone)
Yin Yang (actor Jet Li)
Gunner Jensen (actor Dolph Lundgren)
Lee Christmas (actor Jason Statham)
Toll Road (actor Randy Couture)
Pyotr Ovyorovech (mentioned only)
Hale Caesar (actor Terry Crews)
(actor Mickey Rourke)
Seemingly, Dynamite Entertainment did not have rights to the
actors' likenesses, as the artist depictions of the characters
in the mini-series do not particularly look like the actors who
play them in the Expendables movie.
The issues of this mini-series did not have titles. I have
chosen the title of
"The Love Boat" for this study
based on a joking remark Gunner makes about Ovyorovech's party
battleship. The Love Boat was an American TV series set
on a cruise ship which aired on the ABC network from 1977-1990.
This issue reveals that the old Soviet battleship owned by a
private interest is docked at
a port on the Crimean Peninsula.
On page 1, Barney remarks on the Cold War peace dividend as he
observes through binoculars a gaggle of bathing beauties aboard
the privatized Soviet battleship. The Cold War was the state of
distrust between the Western (U.S. and allies) and Eastern
(Soviet Union and allies) powers from roughly 1947-1991. A peace
dividend is the alleged long term benefit to a nation's economy
after military spending is cut by its government.
Also observing the bathing beauties on the battleship, Yang
remarks, "Stalin never partied like this." Josef Stalin was the
leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s through 1952.
On page 3, the Soviet battleship is identified as the Maxim
Litvinov, sailed out of
in 1943, mothballed in 1962, and gifted by Putin to a tovarisch
"five years ago". Maxim Litvinov (1876-1951) was a Soviet
revolutionary and diplomat; as far as I can tell there was never
a battleship named after him. Assuming this story takes place in
2010 (when the mini-series was published), the ship was gifted
in 2005; it seems unlikely a ship of this age would still be
around to be gifted unless it had been converted into a military
museum for the public or something similar.
Tovarisch is Russian for "comrade".
In panel 5 of page 3, the text on the information page about the
Maxim Litvinov is composed of nonsense font
Page 4 reveals the current owner of the
Maxim Litvinov as Pyotr Ovyorovech, formerly of the
Soviet military. Page 13 reveals that Ovyorovech was a general.
On page 5, Toll Road remarks that the
Maxim Litvinov looks like an old Stalin
battlewagon on the outside, but inside it's all Donald Trump,
with bedrooms, theaters, a pool, casino, dining halls, and
Donald Trump is an American billionaire, businessman, celebrity,
and current candidate for U.S. president; he lives a very lavish
Toll Road describes
the current Ovyorovech as a Cossack Travolta, as he loves to
dance. This is a reference to American actor John Travolta,
known for his dancing and singing roles in the 1977 film
Saturday Night Fever and 1978 film Grease.
On page 6, Aguilo and his gang members use the words ese
and jefe. These are Spanish terms for "man" and "chief"
On page 7, Tool says amigo. This is Spanish for
On page 9, one of the Russian crewmember/partiers on the
asks for Bloodsoaked 4 for PlayStation.
appears to be a fictitious video game series for the real
PlayStation home video game console.
On page 10, Lee calls Gunner a "cranked up prat." "Prat" is a
British term of for an incompetent person.
After Gunner is dumped overboard from the
Maxim Litvinov, Toll Road jokes that maybe he lost at
Upon his return from the
Maxim Litvinov, Gunner reports that
Ovyorovech plans to winter off Crete. Crete is one of the Greek
islands of the Mediterranean.
On page 14, Aguilo calls Jorgito hermano. This is
Spanish for "brother".
Breaking into the bowels of the
on page 17, Lee remarks, "No one's been down here since
Gorbachev had a nanny." Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of the
Soviet Union from 1988-1991.
On page 18, Lee asks Barney where he learned the nautical lingo
and receives the response, "Popeye cartoons."
Barney later comments on learning further
from SpongeBob. Popeye, of course, is a sailor character missing
one eye, who has been around since 1929 in comic strips and in
cartoons since 1933. "SpongeBob" is a reference to SpongeBob
Squarepants, an animated TV series for children originally
airing on the Nickelodeon cable network.
Also on page 18, Yang finds Kalashnikov ammo and RPGs aboard the
Kalashnikov is a popular line of Russian automatic rifles, the
most commonly known of which is the AK-47, designed by Mikhail
RPG is an abbreviation for Rocket Propelled Grenade.
As he targets the
Maxim Litvinov through the scope of his rifle on
page 20, Caesar says,
"Boomlay, boomlay, boom." This same line from Vachel Lindsay's
1914 poem "The Congo", was spoken by Toll in
"THE NIGERIAN PRINCE".
The poem is also referred in The Expendables 2.
Barney uses aerosolized hypnovel on some of the crewmembers of
Maxim Litvinov in a compartment of the ship,
which they mistakenly think is sarin gas. He remarks that
they'll wake with a headache they'll remember for the rest of
their lives. Hypnovel is one of the trade names of midazolam, an
anesthetic, sleep-inducing drug; headaches are one of the side
effects. Sarin is a deadly nerve agent
chemical compound, often weaponzied as a gas, though outlawed by
the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.
Expendables Episode Studies