Sunday, October 24, 2010

Battle Picture Library 251 Vendetta

Ever had that feeling that somebody somewhere has got it in for you? Vendetta is good. It starts with that stirring cover (who can resist a wounded officer firing a Thompson gun one handed?) and then jumps straight into the action with a desperate situation with enough AAAGH!s in first couple of pages for several pocket war comics. Young Philip Anstey makes the mistake of being in the same brigade as his father during a battle in World War One. As the younger Anstey is sent to get help, the Germans absolutely, totally and indefatigably blow his father and most of his brigade to kingdom come. Young Anstey (of course) does his best to stop this from happening but is foiled at every opportunity by a rain of German shells and a non bullet-proof horse. Even worse his pleas for help to the Duke of Onslow's Lancers (DOLS) waiting in support falls on deaf ears. Anstey then tries single handily to counter attack the Germans and save his father but is prevented from doing so by a hail of lead.

Fast forward a number of years and Anstey has risen to command his brigade. A position he holds with pride. However when the modern version of the DOLS is brought under his command he is beyond outraged. When he learns that his son holds a commission in that unit he becomes almost murderous. Brigadier Anstey has little time for them even though, despite their continuing losses, they fearlessly engage the enemy. The bravery of the DOLS, while under his command, is never in question

There's action a plenty with a few twists and turns (including the cover) that do a good job of throwing you off track before the big reveal. It's Anstey who is bleeding the DOLS white by repeatedly sending them into action. The Vendetta of the title is his! The reveal is big enough to paper over some of the coincidences (or should that be flaws?) in the story.

Even though some of the vehicle depictions in Vendetta are a little bit suspect it's a different story for the infantry. Most of the British soldiers are drawn like modern day rugby players. They're all very fit and muscular and if they could pack a scrum against the Germans they wouldn't need any weapons at all to win the war.

Vendetta just goes to prove it's not always the guys shooting at you who are out to get you.

Boy is he mad! That's a heart attack waiting to happen.

Sneaky Germans! Having bombs that fall without warning.

What you need is a bullet proof horse.

I like how that guy in the foreground looks really drunk.

Fit. Big jawed. Officers. These are real men! Of course a tash for the man in command.

Anstey spends so much time carrying on like this it's surprising he hasn't had a heart attack by this point in the story.

We've all pulled this face and felt like this at sometime...

The big reveal! Yeah it was ME all along!

Smug Nazis and their satisfied chuckles! Hmmm... I wonder if those victory weapons are going to land anywhere near or on top of those badly drawn and moving Tiger tanks?

The brigadier's son is in need of some very heavy counselling if he can't display more emotion than that.
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