THE LOUDER the clatter of saber-rattling, the more frequent become the familiar symbols of war.

Recent days have seen a buildup of militaristic images in many of the world’s editorial cartoons, as surface-to-air commentary on global tensions increases. And as the headlines heighten in their urgent tone about such hot spots as North Korea and Syria, visual satirists again roll out the usual arsenal of missiles and carriers and full-on graphic firepower.

More than a half-century ago, legendary Washington Post cartoonist Herblock would commonly unleash his character Mr. Atom to depict the hot winds of the Cold War, such as 1962’s “I may still have to rely on reckless inaction” — a work that comments on nuclear-control proposals.

Here today, in a similar vein, is how some of the world’s cartoonists render judgment on the current high-tension headlines, painting a picture of how much the actors may change, yet how little the plots do.

MARIAN KAMENSKY (Austria):

(Marian Kamensky/Austria/CagleCartoons.com)

MONTE WOLVERTON (Cagle Cartoons):

(Monte Wolverton/Cagle Cartoons)

PATRICK CHAPPATTE (International New York Times):

Patrick Chappatte/International New York Times via CagleCartoons.com)

LISA BENSON (Washington Post Writers Group):


(Lisa Benson/WPWG)

NATE BEELER (Columbus Dispatch):

(Nate Beeler/Columbus Dispatch via CagleCartoons.com)

STEVE SACK (Star Tribune, Minneapolis): 

(Steve Sack/Minneapolis Star Tribune via CagleCartoons.com)