3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good war story nostalgia but annoying format,
This review is from: The Best of "Battle": Vol 1 (Paperback)
This book showcases many of the more popular strips that ran in the British war comic published weekly during the late 70s and early 80s. Even though this was during an era that I bought and read comics voraciously, it was quite rare that I'd actually buy this one. The only times it would cross my path is if it was bought as an after tea treat on holiday or as a sweetener whenever I had some hospital time to get through. Whenever I did read them I think I was turned off by the tone and the darkness of the scripts due to the fatality of the violence portrayed. It wasn't what I was looking for. The problem I had with this collection is it just shows you the first 4 or five parts of the 3 or 4 page episodes of each title. A pretty rigid format that doesn't budge even to add an episode or two that would have completed the run. It is very frustrating to start each story knowing that ultimately you are going to be left hanging. Many of the titles are also very formulaic. For example; there are a number of stories from German perspectives. Nearly all feature honourable Germans who spend more time fighting the SS than their designated enemies. Many of the better stories are ones that feature other conflicts than WW2. Fighting Man, set in Viet Nam is one of the stand outs. By far the greatest strip thought is Pat Mills' brilliant Charley's War, which follows the under aged exploits of a 16 year old boy's experience of fighting in the trenches on the Western Front during WW1. Superbly researched, touching, funny, dark, it does everything that a great comic series can achieve when facing something as vast, powerful and tragic as futile total war can be. The horror and stupidity of the war stands back to back with the bravery and humanity of the men forced to fight each other. Don't buy this collection though, just pick up the dedicated Charley's War collections. The low star rating doesn't really reflect the quality of the material but rather the teaser format of this collection.