Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY  (Read 1848 times)

73north

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« on: 15 September, 2020, 07:18:04 PM »
I got in the post , the new Rebellion & Treasury of British Comics special.
The Battle of Britain Special 2020
yesterday - and it really was a big treat ( I read the original from issue 1 )
The first story was a real joy - The Tough Way Out, a Rat Pack tale by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns .
This was really well-done and very enjoyable . I would give it 5 stars
next -
 LOFTY AND THE EAGLE - and not bad at all - a bit far-fetched - but okay ( 4/5 )

THE FACE OF THE ENEMY - a old man having a flashback of 1940 whilst chatting to a classroom of kids ( the sad reality is the vast majority would have no clue what a Hawker Hurricane was , but i digress ) 3.5

WAR CHILD - for me one of the weakest strips - basically War is Hell for Kids with little action
( art was great ) 1/5 - bit woke for me , sorry

DESTROYER - Strip about 3 new recruits for HMS Campbeltown - and its subsequent use at St  :-*- set in Stalingrad - and the artwork was fabulous from Simon Coleby PJ Holden ( 5/5 )

SNIPER ELITE
- set in Stalingrad , artwork by Simon Coleby ( like Jaegir  ) its fab , 5 out of 5 for me

THE VULTURES - an old story in Battle reprinted - art by Carlos Ezquerra ( 5/ 5 )

bravo - black lion - set in Vietnam ( 4/5 ) not bad
DOUBLE HERO - Raf Story - reprint from Battle ( one I remembered !! ) 5/5

SCOURGE OF THE SKIES - very nice art and good story ( 4/5 )

el mestizo - Western epic - new story and art ( 4/5 ) not bad at all
GUSTAV OF THE BEARMACHT - good art - good story ( 5/5 )
and a dreadful 2 page cartoon COCKNEY COMMANDOS - so dire , its a 0/5 for me
total waste of 2 precious pages

so overall 4 out of 5 for me , Highlights was RAT PACK , SNIPER ELITE and DESTROYER for me
those 3 were worth it for the price alone - I am glad BATTLE got some love in 2020

thanks Rebellion !!
« Last Edit: 17 September, 2020, 04:30:34 PM by Bolt-01 »

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5956
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #1 on: 15 September, 2020, 07:32:14 PM »
2000AD runniing a WOKE tale!?  :o

Say it aint so from the comic that gave us the Crisis Amnesty International Special....

Leigh S

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5956
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #2 on: 15 September, 2020, 07:33:53 PM »
(they missed a trick not having Shako in that bear story...)

Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7539
  • "Why, Black Dynamite? WHY?"
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #3 on: 15 September, 2020, 09:53:43 PM »
Fantastic cover (the orange and yellow subscriber one) and a nice nod to the humor strips of the IPC Fleetway era breaking up what is otherwise just two pages listing the contents, AKA filler.
Rat Pack was an entertaining diversion, but not Ennis on top form.  Tonally, it's much more crude and slapstick than the Rat pack I remember, but it looks nice even if there's no replacing Ezquerra or Bradbury.
Lofty was borderline incomprehensible in places.  I am going to be charitable and assume the intent was to recreate the often-arbitrary storytelling of a 3-page weekly comic, but I don't feel it comes off well if that's the intent.  There are some scene transitions and story moments that just don't work.  Looks nice, though I'm not fond of some of the aesthetics of the lettering.
The Face Of The Enemy was a slight read, but clearly well-intentioned, despite Alan Grant making no secret of the fact that he - along with John Wagner and others - used their space in these comics to tell blackly comic tales that amused themselves first and foremost - weirdly enough, if you ever watch interviews with the publishers of VIZ, they approach their comic with much the same sensibility.  Anyway, this looks nice, though the colours are very shiny.
Worthy as it is, the War Child story was pretty weak, as there are two pages early on that are just a wall of text, comprising two narratives going on at the same time: one in the narrative captions, and the other in the visuals and spoken dialogue.  It comes off as really amateurish and not at all what I'd expect of a reliable writer of Abnett's experience.  Perhaps the hard left left SJW liberal feminist human rights wokeness is somewhat undermined by appearing alongside a comic (Sniper Elite) which rather graphically revels in violence in a wartime setting?  Although the comic itself is also profiting off war, sooooo... next time they should put a white poppy on the cover?  It looks nice, though.
Destroyer makes a great fist at evoking the look and feel of the old Battle one-offs, complete with unexpected emotional sea changes one should have seen coming in a story about the last war that could deliver the British genuine martyrs.  Effortlessly swings between farce and melancholy.  No complaints.
Sniper Elite: In All Good Videogame Stores Now is a perfectly competent house advertisement for one of The Parent Company's far more profitable ventures, and even though I'm a big commie myself, if I have a complaint about this it's that it doesn't take the opportunity to reinforce ideological opposition to the Russians like the stories in Battle often would, but that's more a complaint about being tonally and/or thematically inconsistent with BPW.
The Vultures is a good callback to when I mentioned "blackly comic tales" up above, and it's great that they managed to include Carlos in the special somehow.  Short and sweet.
Bravo Black Lion is... meh.  Feels like something the writer and/or artist had in a drawer after their shot at a Dark Horse anthology didn't pan out.  It's perfectly fine, if unremarkable, but I would have thought tapping Nick Dwyer to draw a Fighting Mann strip would have been a better bet to fill the Vietnam War-shaped hole that was apparently gaping wide in the middle of a "Battle Of Britain Special".
Double Hero seems like an excuse to get Ian Kennedy in the special - as if one was needed.  Looks fantastic, of course, but also has decent pacing for a historical infodump.
Young Cockney Commandos is a fun humor strip, and doesn't outstay its welcome.  Quirky and very British in a way that you probably don't even notice if you grew up with it.
El Mestizo is a weird choice for inclusion in a special with a specific theme into which the character and strip just don't fit, but it's diverting enough.
The pun "Bearmacht" is not a sound basis for an entire story, and arguably takes away from the wartime service of Corporal Wojtek, the brown bear who served with distinction in the Polish army as a munitions engineer - no, REALLY - but god damn it I am only human and if there is any better way to utilise pages in a comic other than filling them full of images of a bear mauling gestapo scumbags, I remain unaware of it.
Lots of house ads and one-page fact-files pad out the rest of the pages.  Good for verisimilitude, if nothing else.

I can take a guess why there's no Charley's War, and Ennis/Burns on Rat Pack gives me a notion why there's no Johnny Red, either, which is a shame as these were probably the standout Battle strips (apart from X-Changers: Cosmic Cowboys, of course), but overall it's pretty good.  8 quid's worth of good?  Well, I got it as part of the subscriber bundle deal thing they did and I'm happy enough, but belts are tightening at the moment so others will have to judge for themselves.
3 out of 5.

73north

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #4 on: 16 September, 2020, 06:52:25 PM »


Forgot to add the Comc in its wrapper
regards to the Forum

73north

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 26687
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #5 on: 16 September, 2020, 07:42:42 PM »
DESTROYER - Strip about 3 new recruits for HMS Campbeltown - and its subsequent use at St  :-*- set in Stalingrad - and the artwork was fabulous from Simon Coleby ( 5/5 )

coughPaul J Holdencough.

Bolt-01

  • Global Moderator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 11489
  • It ain't called ZARJAZ fer nuthin'!
    • View Profile
    • FutureQuake Press
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #6 on: 17 September, 2020, 04:40:06 PM »
I've amended the opening post.

(not going to spend time sorting out the formatting on the rest, though)

A rather variable special - with some strips really doing a grand job, but others not hitting the Mark. I agree with the Prof that the Vietnam strip and El Mestizo had no real place in this edition, but it was a whopping page count so I'm not going to begrudge.

Think that whomever decided to let Oz letter those two strips needs to be reminded that crossbar 'I' is a no-no these days.

Think my strip of the issue goes to Destroyer, with the Bearmacht in very close second.

A cracking title overall and I think it proved itself as value for money.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2170
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #7 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:48:47 PM »
I was always a fan of war stories thus I was quite happy when a Battle special was announced. The special was a solid and entertaining.

It was good again to see Ennis doing another British strip.  I also found it interesting to see some reprints, but this was done by two masters Carlos Ezquerra and Ian Kennedy. Would have loved a John Cooper one as well since he is also synonym with Battle. 

Story wise Rat Pack, Destroyer, Sniper Elite, El Mestizo, The Face of the Enemy and Gustav was my highlights.

The only story that did not grab me was Lofty and the Eagle. This was mostly due to the art which I did not enjoy and left me struggle to distinguish between characters.

Something else that I would have like to see differently is the art on Bravo, Black Lion. I would not change the artist Glen Fabry, but I would have kept his B/W art rather than colouring it. I saw a page from Alex’s twitter feed before it was coloured which looked amazing. 

My last tough is that it is a pity that we did not have a Johnny Red or a Charley’s War story in the special.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #8 on: 17 September, 2020, 09:21:43 PM »
I couldn't disagree more about War Child, I thought it was brilliant! As for "woke," people were writing anti-war stories long, long before political correctness. And if you can't oppose child soldiers, you have something wrong with you.

Tomontherun94

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #9 on: 17 September, 2020, 10:50:00 PM »
I couldn't disagree more about War Child, I thought it was brilliant! As for "woke," people were writing anti-war stories long, long before political correctness. And if you can't oppose child soldiers, you have something wrong with you.
Yeah I definitely agree. Pretty sad how we've gotten to the point that saying "child soldiers exist and that's bad" is considered woke marxist SJW propaganda.

Nothing better than reading about Nazis getting gunned dow but I feel it's important to have strips like this, especially for a comic aimed at adults, to step back and show war isn't just a "Boys Own Adventure", giving Jerry whatfor. I can imagine if Charley's War came out today it would be derided as PC garbage.

Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7539
  • "Why, Black Dynamite? WHY?"
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #10 on: 18 September, 2020, 10:57:55 AM »
I thought my using "human rights" as a pejorative term might have been a hint as to my tone, but clearly I played my hand too well and my poker face was simply too inscrutable.  Or I just shitpost so much no-one has a fucking clue when I try to make an actual point anymore.  Same thing, really.

To be clear: I wasn't criticising the strip for being "woke", I was criticising the possible cynicism of having it appear alongside a strip that is an advertisement for a war-glorifying videogame which will be played by children, and will teach them (through immersion) military terms, tactics and SOP.

Tomontherun94

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #11 on: 18 September, 2020, 12:22:16 PM »
I thought my using "human rights" as a pejorative term might have been a hint as to my tone, but clearly I played my hand too well and my poker face was simply too inscrutable.  Or I just shitpost so much no-one has a fucking clue when I try to make an actual point anymore.  Same thing, really.

To be clear: I wasn't criticising the strip for being "woke", I was criticising the possible cynicism of having it appear alongside a strip that is an advertisement for a war-glorifying videogame which will be played by children, and will teach them (through immersion) military terms, tactics and SOP.

Yeah I got yah, I was referring more to one of the posts above yours. I agree with the disconnect here of "war bad, donate to this charity" alongside "Sniper Elite 4: buy now on Switch!" but there was Sniper Elite miniseries last year published under the Battle label so maybe they now consider it part of the Battle "family" now?

Richard

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Beast Code WWW
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #12 on: 18 September, 2020, 12:34:45 PM »
It's an anthology, so I think it's fine to have different kinds of war stories, even polar opposites, appearing together.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2170
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #13 on: 18 September, 2020, 12:40:37 PM »
The majority of the stories were anyway focus on WWII. For me there was enough variety.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Proudhuff

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 13248
  • Lorne; it's a square thing
    • View Profile
Re: The Battle of Britain Special - BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY
« Reply #14 on: 19 September, 2020, 02:10:16 PM »

A rather variable special - with some strips really doing a grand job, but others not hitting the Mark. I agree with the Prof that the Vietnam strip and El Mestizo had no real place in this edition, but it was a whopping page count so I'm not going to begrudge.

Think that whomever decided to let Oz letter those two strips needs to be reminded that crossbar 'I' is a no-no these days.

Think my strip of the issue goes to Destroyer, with the Bearmacht in very close second.

A cracking title overall and I think it proved itself as value for money.

Agree with all Bolt says, peaks and troughs, and a couple in there that really shouldn't be given the theme.
DDT did a job on me