What more Americans!? It's rare for a British war comic to cough up a story about Yanks - but here is another one - and a good one too.
A story of two guys and guess what? One of them doesn't make it!
At the very start of The Full Treatment your mind races ahead to figure out how the writer is going to pull the story together.
Lowery and Suchak are both big fisted, fit and can fight but they are, of course, from different worlds. One is a drifter who is always looking for the next challenge and lives for hard work. The other is football star and college man from a wealthy family and a life of privilege.
Naturally they come into conflict and then part ways. You know from the very beginning that they are going to come back together, endure more conflict and then come to a reconciliation through some heroic action.
Lowery (the rich one) also has an internal conflict as he is determined to make it though life on his own and is continually frustrated by the long reach of his father's influence and expectations. Suchak creates his own destiny, is his own man and this is the source of conflict between the two.
A good read with one small Aaaghh and an absolute bonus when only one of the two main characters remains at the end of the story.
The stance of the boss man is fantastic. But what is that guy doing up in that tree?
Them dirty yellow buzzards! I've never liked them!
You have to love Americans. Soon they'll be facing death and destruction but there's always time for a game of cards.
That's a nice tidy AAAAGH!
Hey I've got wood...
Look into my eyes look into my eyes. Not around the eyes...
You'll be laughing out of the other side of those Buddy Holly glasses fella when I get through with you...
It's gone all dark and moody. One of them's gonna get it...
Sergeant Larson learns the hard way that using hate to fight is not the way to win a war. However it doesn’t stop him from killing a lot of Germans. Also despite his best efforts to get himself killed he manages to survive the battle.
Even though the premise for the story is reasonable, the story telling is far fetched and the animation and drama are a bit wooden. Underneath it all, trying it’s hardest to get out, is a stylistic approach that gets smothered by the stupidity of the storyline.
British commandos are tasked with the mission of destroying an arctic airfield so the convoys can get through to a beleaguered Russia. The mission starts off with a frontal seaborne assault on a harbour garrison. After they meet up with the local Norwegian partisans they are forced into ambushing an armoured column. From there they proceed with stealth to the airfield. However the mission is thrown into jeopardy when Sergeant Larson decides to embark on a personal vendetta. Hang on! Larson screws up the mission? The mission to destroy the airfield was in trouble when they hit the harbour with all guns blazing.
Despite the illustrator being allowed to show glimpses of an individual style the writing makes this story unconvincing.
The major with the mean tash.
Style trying to get out.
He looks bad. He must be bad.
It's hammer time!
Try this at home kids. Take a waste paper bin and place it on top of your car. Now race towards the car toss an apple into the bin. Be careful you only get one go at it.
Try this one as well. Take an empty baked bean can and lay it down on the top of a kitchen cabinet. Now run past it and throw an apple into the can. Again you only get one chance at it.
If the Americans couldn't take Skull Hill could the British do it? Provost Major Ross is brought in to whip the war weary Brits of Charlie Company into shape and do the job the Americans couldn't do.
This is another issue that includes Americans and this time they even get speaking parts. Albeit reticence at not being able to take the hill.
Shellfire takes Fleetway in an interesting direction where there’s an admission that not all soldiers are willing to charge headlong into the enemy and utter aaagh with their final breath.
The soldiers in Shellfire are tired, stressed, and close to breaking and have little enthusiasm to engage the enemy. Not exactly the type of men who would be willing or able to take a stronghold hill in such a vital sector of the front. Or are they?
It doesn't take the avid reader long to realise that Provost Major Ross is driving the war weary man of Charlie Company to focus all their hate on him. So when the time comes to release that hate and restore their pride the target of all that energy will be the enemy.
Shellfire is actually well written with some great action panels. The writing shows so much depth that the shooting doesn’t start until page 28. Also it’s worthy of note to see a one word Fleetway title without an exclamation mark!
Goldarn it Tom! If this was a DC publication we would have taken that hill and in colour!
I tell you chaps it can't fail. Major Ross, who we all hate, has a cunning plan...and yes you're right it will get most of us killed.
How do you like that Nazi?
Sometimes they speak English. This time they choose German. Any wonder they lost?
If I was pumping an Obergefreiter full of lead I think I could find myself having any number of crazy thoughts. However that wouldn't be one of them.
This panel looks out of place. The lack of battlefield detail and the focus on the action makes it look like it belongs in superhero DC comic.
Take any War Picture Library, Battle Picture Library or Commando comic and you will always find those famous last words “arrgghhhhh” or even “donner und blitzen”.
Cowards try to prove themselves or officers interfere by trying to run battles “by the book”. The enemy is treacherous. Mysterious locations hold significant secrets. Sometimes a simple gun is the focal point of a unique karmic destiny.
There are those who are lost or left behind enemy lines where they invariably make a discovery – a hidden base, a wonder weapon or a traitor. The host of intangible struggles are often more significant such as the dark secret, the family shame, the family curse or the stigma of not being like the other chaps.
Strangely enough for stories about war and battle the killed the dead and the dying are usually absent.
There's a lot to like (and make fun of) among the dramatic titles, fantastic artwork, impossible stories, daring heroes, nasty bad guys, body building and not quite diamond rings advertisements.