Sunday, October 25, 2009

War Picture Library 336 - Deed of Valour

Deed of Valour is an iconic issue and an iconic story. This is a story of redemption.

The main character Joe Burns is a coward. He manages to save his own skin many times at the expense of the lives of his comrades. He becomes adept at survivng and uses his status as the last man standing to gain promotion and notoriety as tough veteran. Only the young officer, Bob Leefe, who shared his first action and the same overwhelming fear and disgrace in front of the enemy knows the truth about Burns. However while Leefe carries the shame of that event, Burns congratulates himself for not getting caught out. The two men are soon seperated but inevitably their paths cross again.

I love this story as it screams redemption from the very begining. You know how it's going to end - but that's not the point. It's Burns' lack of moral fibre and arrogance that see the story through.

In later editions this cover image was also used to advertise upcoming issues and encourage subscriptions. I consider it a bonus that it also contains a great story.

 Burns is craven coward! Why don't you fight man!

I like the AAGH!

Don't worry it's not Burns - he's hiding somewhere.

Burns is a Sargent now - but where did he go?

Don't say you're suprised it ends this way...

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