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This review is from: The Best of "Battle": Vol 1 (Paperback)
Kids these days. You don't know what you're missing. Back in the 70's, with no computers and mobile phones and only three tv channels that werent on 24 hours of the day, we had to make our own entertainment. And once such way was to go to the newsagents and spend a handful of pennies on a comic.
One of the most popular subjects for comics of the time was war, not least because world war II was just thirty years before and still strong in the national consciousness.
Comics prior to the mid 70's could be pretty tame, though. But with the launch of action and then battle, and later 2000ad, the whole landscape of the field changed. The stories that these three classic comics brought us were just so much more realistic and grown up. and action packed. so we loved them. even though the adults might not have been quite so keen.
Battle told war stories, and ran from 1975 - 1989 before fading away. This volume repeats selected strips from 18 different stories that ran in battle. Battle broke new ground also by having the occasional german lead character, always a decent type battling hard line nazis in addition to the allies, and a couple of those stories get a look in here.
The best known battle characters are represented. such as: D Day Dawson, a man who receives an injury on D Day that will kill him in less than a year so who now does amazingly dangerous things because he has nothing left to lose. Rst pack: four men recruited from a military stockade to undertake dangerous commando missions. major easy, a laconic officer in charge of a platoon in sicily. Johnny red, british pilot fighting with the russians. and the world war one story of an ordinary soldier called charley's war.
As a whole the ones that have ongoing stories are slightly stronger than the ones that are weekly adventures of the main character, but you have to admire the writers for managing to tell such stories in a mere three pages week in week out. Those are not great literature, the bulk of the dialogue being expository, but they're still entertaining. The ones with ongoing stories do feel like they have more depth to them, though.
Not quite a five star collection because this only reprints a handful of episodes for each character, which is bit frustrating in the case of the ones that are ongoing stories because it leaves you hanging. But it's great just to get to read these again. The back of the book does promise collected editions of individual stories, though. I have them on pre order already.
A couple of disclaimers from the front of the book:
'characters may have views and use language which some of todays readers may find offensive.'
'much of the material in this is exceedingly rare, as such we hope readers appreciate the quality of the reproduction achievable may vary.'
but the reproduction is fine all in all. some pages look a little different in terms of shading because they were originally published in colour and are presented here in black and white.
But then the only people likely to read this are those who read the original, so I don't think either of the above things will put you off
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Initial post: 29 Dec 2009 19:19:31 GMT
Excellent review, thanks very much.
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