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For you, Tommy ze War is never over...
on 22 September 2009
For most of the medium's history British comics have been renowned for the ability to tell a big story in satisfying little instalments and this, coupled with superior creators and the anthology nature of our publications have ensured hundreds of memorable characters and series have seared themselves into the little boy's psyches inside most British adult males.
One of the last great weekly anthology comics was Battle, which launched as Battle Picture Weekly on 8th March 1975, and through absorption, merger and rebranding (becoming Battle and Valiant, Battle Action Force, and Battle with Storm Force before itself being combined with Eagle on January 23rd 1988) fought its way into the bloodthirsty hearts of a generation, consequently producing some of the best and most influential war stories ever.
This action-packed compendium features the beginnings of some of the very best of those 13 odd years, produced by the winning blend of Young Turk writers such as Pat Mills, John Wagner, and Gerry Finley-Day and stalwarts of the old guard Tom Tully, Eric and Alan Hebden, with art from the likes of Carlos Ezquerra, Geoff Campion, Mike Western, Joe Colquhoun, Eric Bradbury, John Cooper and Cam Kennedy.
The featured strips (in chunks of about 10-20 pages each) are D-Day Dawson, Day of the Eagle, The Bootneck Boy, Rat Pack, Major Eazy, Fighter from the Sky, Hold Hill 109, Darkie's Mob, Panzer G-Man, Joe Two Beans, Johnny Red, The Sarge, Hellman of Hammer Force, Crazy Keller, The General Dies at Dawn, Charley's War, Fighting Mann and Death Squad!
This spectacular blend of action, tension and drama from both sides of World War II (many of Battle's best heroes, such as Hellman, or Panzer G-Man were German's fighting against our boys!) as well as a unique take on the American soldier in the Pacific and even Viet Nam hasn't paled in the intervening years and these black and white gems are as powerful and engrossing now as they've ever been. Fair warning though: Many of the tales here do not conclude. For that you'll have to agitate for a second volume...