Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Air Ace Picture Library 127 High Tension

More dribble. Part boys own adventure part excuse for bash, crash and tash. This one is bad. The only thing that saves High Tension story is a number of well placed "Arrrgghhs!"

After many feats of daring do as a night bomber pilot flying Hampdens, Pilot Curtis suffers a serious wound to his eyes. He may never fly again…however his commanding officer manages to pull in a few favours and gets a famous surgeon (an old school chum) to operate on Curtis’s eyes. Not only is Curtis’s vision restored he also now has the uncanny ability see what other men cannot see in the dark. Now known as “cats eye" he only has one wish , besides shooting down more enemy aircraft, blowing up more bridges, sinking more ships, destroying more tunnels, wrecking more trains (he appears to have a grudge against civil infrastructure) and that is to somehow repay the good doctor.

More daring do leads to medals, promotion and transfer to a night fighter squadron. There he finds tension fitting in as the new chap as well as other difficulties as the squadron learns to fly their newly issued Beaufighters.

After those troubles are dealt with there is even more daring do, more aerial victories and then a secret mission. The mission requires modification to aircraft, transporting guns and munitions and of course retrieving a secret operative somewhere in France. There’s a skirmish with the usual bunch of hapless Germans where all the right/wrong people get killed or wounded. On the flight home there’s a bit more daring do just in case you hadn’t had enough. “Fleetway” must be some long lost word the ancients used to describe the great karmic intersection of the universe as Curtis does indeed repay his debt to the good doctor.

There’s too much happening in this story and not even the bash, crash and tash or Hampdens or Beaufighters can help High Tension get off the ground.

A man of rank always knows how to look good. 



Do you think he uses domestic or imported wax for that thing?

Flying pirates?

Great chance to use a lot of ink. I get the feeling the illustrator really enjoyed putting this panel together.


No wonder those German chuckleheads lost the war. What were they thinking sending in tanks against a bunch of blokes standing around in the open? Honestly!

Remember this rule if you ever become a bad guy. If one of your own guys is about to throw a grenade - keep away from him!


Could you sing that 10000 Miles song again?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

War Picture Library 299 Long Odds

Long Odds really stinks. All the right bits and pieces are there for a good story but they just don’t come together. Likewise the illustration at times has good composition but suffers from being a bit stiff.
It starts off OK enough. There’s an introduction to brewing class tension as Sam Clark is involved in commando officer cadet training and fails to pass. His friend Peter Hyde suspects it is because Sam Clark is the son of an engine driver. A watch goes missing under mysterious circumstances, the mission to take the airfield almost goes wrong, trust is lost and then regained, heroic self sacrifice is offered, a deathbed confession is rendered and the troubled are laid to rest.

Sounds good? Except that the class tension doesn’t develop, no suspicion is laid around the missing watch, the airfield mission is an overwhelming success and apart from Clark’s final confession there’s no hint in the story that Clark is a troubled soul.

And this is the trouble with Long Odds there’s ample opportunity for consequential angst but it never gets a chance to develop.

It has an excellent cover though. Also when the commandos get into trouble they really take a beating.

Oh yes…there’s not an arrrrghhh to be seen.

This party would be a lot better with girls. When are the girls turning up?

Instant death? Is that the same as instant coffee?


Caution. Commandos at work.

When, suddenly, I spied them. I saw a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them!


I'm not happy! My short ink and paper life is about to be snuffed out by a poor story line.

Bad guys! They don't like showing their faces.


Poor blighter. He didn't even get the chance to say Arrgghhh!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Air Ace Picture Library 115 The Reluctant Enemy

There’s a strange melancholy to this story. Before the war two chums, one English the other one German, are the best of friends who enjoy each others company and flying together at the local aero club. Then one day Kurt, the German one, says the wrong thing in the club bar. Following an awkward silence the two friends go home. They are such good friends that they find themselves bunking down together in the same digs - no doubt waiting for Miss Right to come along.

However when they get home to relax Bill, the English one, is disturbed by the book on calculated risk his German friend is reading. With war looming Kurt must suddenly leave for Germany. Even though they part as friends Bill fears that the next time they meet it will be as enemies.

London is bombed, Bill enlists in the RAF and soon enough there’s plenty of action as Hurricanes and ME 109s are duelling over the channel. However all the time Bill can’t understand how his friend Kurt could possibly be the involved or responsible with all the death and destruction.

Bill then learns that the murdering and cruel leader of the crack German squadron they will be facing has the same name as his friend. The prospect that this could be his chum sends Bill into a tailspin of agony. But is it really his Kurt?

The Reluctant Enemy is surprising. It has its fair share of action, war weary veterans, stern COs and ME 109s and Hurricanes hitting the surface of the English Channel at the wrong angle and wrong speed.

Even though there are plenty of heroic incidences in this story the surprise is that there is really no hero to this story.

Bung ho! I trust that is a term of endearment.

How's that for a waxed tash!

Do Germans really say this when they are surprised?

Ah yes...the small German type. I've met their kind before you know...


Is it only me or does that Hurricane look like it's flying backwards?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Comic Blog Elite