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Author Topic: Battle Action Special 2022  (Read 1335 times)

Barrington Boots

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #15 on: 12 June, 2022, 10:37:16 AM »
yeah,  I looked in both Nostalgia (which doesnt seem to stock any Rebellion magazines any more) and FP, which had had a sort around and again, couldnt find any mags. 

I sympathise with you - Nostalgia in Birmingham is pretty poor now for Rebellion stuff and I don't think FP there even stocks comics anymore, although it's been a while since I went in. A while back my wife asked in FP if they had the Megazine and they'd never even heard of it.
Fwiw I gave up on Birmingham altogether, pre-ordered my copy from Gosh! - they're preordering signed copies too. The webshop cover is much cooler imo but can't justify £10 extra for it.
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Proudhuff

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #16 on: 13 June, 2022, 11:41:28 AM »
Got this last week and it is well worth it! Some great stories, art and general vibe. The only slight wobble would be the 70s/80s Dredger, nothing wrong with it as it holds up a mirror to attitudes of the time and has some comic violence a la The Boys, but it does sit uncomfortably between the more serious 'war stories'.

I thought the Kids Rule OK was well handled and good to see some of Kev's more painterly pages.   
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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #17 on: 13 June, 2022, 03:15:04 PM »
Got this last week and it is well worth it! Some great stories, art and general vibe. The only slight wobble would be the 70s/80s Dredger, nothing wrong with it as it holds up a mirror to attitudes of the time and has some comic violence a la The Boys, but it does sit uncomfortably between the more serious 'war stories

I was just thinking about it on my way home today. It's very much the Garth Ennis of Hellblazer and of Billy Butcher, with all the violence and bullying associated therewith. 

Torturing the elderly and the disabled is beyond the nastiness of even the original Action and has all the crassness and shock value of the younger Garth's work. But... I liked it a lot, I honestly did.   You don't come to Dredger for a deep philosophical treatise. Besides, I recently watched Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter, and realised that 70s tough guy stereotypes can be far more unpleasant than Dredger.
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #18 on: 16 June, 2022, 12:31:41 PM »
My copy of this rocked up yesterday from Gosh and to echo what everyone else said, it's superb. The love for the original tales really shines through in the writing and the art is excellent.
This is the best special I can remember buying from Rebellion for a long time.
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Richard

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #21 on: 02 July, 2022, 12:37:57 AM »
Read it today and thought it was great. Kids Rule OK was very well done. I would love to see a multi-episode Nina Petrova & the Angels of Death story (by Ennis) in the prog.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #22 on: 03 July, 2022, 08:04:03 AM »
Absolutely superb.

The great thing about Ennis is while he writes everything here and there is a solid through tone in his 'serious' war stories there is a sharp and refreshing variety in the material he writes, that makes the whole thing feel very much like an anthology.

Johnny Red opens things quite brilliantly with one of my favourite things in the special and there are many, many great things here. Keith Burns is predictably wonderful on art and the story is a tight, well crafted tale that uses its 12 pages to perfection. Cramping so much in, but not at the expense of an utterly satisfying action thriller.

The Sarge with simply wonderful art by our PJ Holden takes a different tact and uses the characters in the strip to pay tribute to the troops on the ground who fought. It doesn't hold back in its honestly, particularly in one chilling moment, but this one packs an real emotional punch and is possibly the best thing in the special.

So we then get a needed tone change as Crazy Keller brings a high octane action romp, playing much more for laughs. Chris Burnham's art is perfect for the switch.

Dredger changes tact again with a punchy tribute to the hard 70s cops. It feels more cheeky and disposible than anything else in the special, but earns its place because of that very fact. John Higgins does what John Higgins does so well.

Hellman of Hammer Force pulls the tone back to that of the first 2 stories with an incredibly effective tale that services the need for thrilling action early so the second half can get to the heart of the piece. We get a real sense of why Hellman does what he does. Its such a brilliant story and challenges The Sarge, Mike Dorey's art being spot on as well.

Then we get another tonal switcheroo with Kids Rule Ok. This would have felt completely at home in Kev O'Neill's anthology with Alan Moore, Cinema Purgatorio. Its a cutting examination of the events that led to Battle Action. Witty and unflinching. Brilliantly constructed and shows how comics, when crafted by greats can do things no other medium can.

The special is bookended perfectly by Patrick Goddard - a man born to draw in Battle and Nina Petrova and the Angels of Death a dark, gripping story with real heart, which perfectly sums up the comic. Its classic Ennis war fare, capturing the hard brutality with real humanity. Just superb.

So yeah add in some great intros to each story and this is quite the product. I've very deliberately over used the word 'Special' in this review. We get lets of titles called special, given its historical usage. I can rarely thing of a time when its been more fitting than for this one. From the hardcover format, to each and ever story inside this is indeed something special and if you've not bought it simply do so as there's a wonderful world were this does so well we return to it on a regular basis.

One of the best things I've read all year.

Funt Solo

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #23 on: 03 July, 2022, 05:11:38 PM »
What a great comic! Wow. People up-thread have covered it, really: great stories that are written to make it feel like an anthology-worth of writers. Fantastic art.

Entirely nit-picking here, but the only thing that flagged up as odd was perhaps a font problem between computers, as the logo for Nina Petrova and the Angels of Death seems to have gone a bit wrong (comparing the preview page and the first page of the strip proper, where the subtitle is a parsing nachtmare of upper and lowercase). Perhaps this could be fixed if there's a later print-run or reprint or what have you.

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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #24 on: 03 July, 2022, 10:40:04 PM »
Entirely nit-picking here, but the only thing that flagged up as odd was perhaps a font problem between computers, as the logo for Nina Petrova and the Angels of Death seems to have gone a bit wrong

Yeah… some fonts refuse to be embedded in PDFs and need to be converted to outlines to display correctly, There are various effects on the main part of the logo that would require the text to be outlined anyway, but the sub-header, being plain text, was probably (unintentionally) left as a 'live' font* — the upper/lower you're seeing is what's necessary to utilise variant characters in the intended font ('Soviet Bold', I believe).

I've been caught out by this little wrinkle more than once… :-(

*It'll likely have been outlined in the first example you show because rotating text like this can sometimes produce unexpected results if you don't outline it.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #25 on: 04 July, 2022, 08:14:17 PM »
I'm probably preaching to the converted, but if you enjoyed this Battle-Action, then Garth Ennis has a ton of other WWII books out.

Linking into this special, he did Hellman at the Twilight of the Reich, in Action 2020 (Rebellion), and a series of three linked stories about the Night Witches in The Complete Battlefields (Volumes One-Three).

There's also War Stories (several volumes), Battler Briton, World of Tanks and The Stringbags.
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broodblik

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #26 on: 05 July, 2022, 05:04:54 AM »
Would it be nice if we now get a annual Battle Action Special written by Garth or at least a more regularly Battle Action.
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Tjm86

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #27 on: 16 July, 2022, 08:25:01 PM »
Ennis has shown a real gift for War Stories and the mileage that is still in the concept.  Arguably the Millsian perspective that challenges an awful lot of the archetypes of older war stories is still present.  It would be nice to see movement towards more modern conflicts but one thing that this special ensures is the variety of perspectives needed.

Nice to see Johnny Red revitalised again.  Not just with the core Skreemer story but also with the Nina story.  Same holds for the Hellman story.  Another example of the complexities of conflict.

The Dredger strip was, for my money, the weakest strip retreading old ground of the British establishment bowing to the peccadilloes of foreign diplomats (middle eastern no less ...).  The Sarge strip was a close second in this respect, not really adding anything new.

O'neill's pot shots at the establishment for the 'Aggro' (sic) of Kids Rule OK was cleverly done and probably serves as a nice little bookend to that episode in British Comic History.  Arguably the myriad failings of the police serve as a fascinating counterpoint to the concerns generated by "that cover".  That was back in the seventies before the days of the Miners Strike, Sarah Everard and Lockdown Enforcement.

Overall though this was a cracking volume.  Possibly the only complaint I could level against it is that by producing a hardback volume like this rather than a newsstand special, the audience is somewhat diminished.  Much as I love the hardback, I'd also like to see this title revitalised for a wider audience.  Picky, I know!

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« Reply #28 on: 04 September, 2022, 01:44:05 PM »
My copy of this has just turned up... after coming to me via Isanbul or the moon, apparently. I've never known an Amazon delivery so slow.

I've not read it yet, but I've had a flick and my grud it looks great! I've wanted original, hardback 2000AD graphic novels for years- and this is the closest yet. Well done Tharg, put me down for some more please. Dredd by Wagner and Mr Colin MacNeil, a Kingdom one-off by Abnett and Elson, and perhaps a new Stronty by Wagner and a new droid?

Anyway, can't wait to get stuck into this.

SBT