Monday, November 8, 2010

Battle Picture Library 68 Seize-and Hold

Englishmen shooting Englishmen? Sergeants shooting their own officers? Based on actual events (yeah right!) Seize-and Hold grabs and contains your attention through a well-constructed flashback storyline and some nice crisp artwork.

It all starts with a courtroom drama where Sergeant Curtis stands accused of murdering his own squad in order to save his own life. As evidence is given by each witness in turn the events of that fateful day are disclosed and the truth is eventually revealed. This is a tidy story as each witnesses' evidence builds on the details of the previous witness. There are even a few red herrings thrown in this Battle Picture Library - well as many that can swim around in 64 pages.

Curtis's war turns into one huge guilt trip when he discovers, Lieutenant Welch, his new platoon leader, is the younger brother of the respected but ultimately psychotic and now very dead Captain Welch. Why the guilt trip? Because Curtis blew Captain Welch away in what could be best described as a battlefield gangland shooting, that is to say up close and personal. Curtis of course has no choice but to pull the trigger as the nutso captain was about to embark on a prisoner killing spree. It's not the morality of the situation that worries Curtis. Even though Captain Welch running around shouting "Kill Kill" and then delivering on that promise to the unarmed prisoners is more shocking than concerning. What really worries Curtis is that he and the rest of his men stand a good chance of being captured and then getting the same treatment from the enemy. So hence the reason for gunning down Lieutenant Welch's older brother.

In trying to absolve his guilt, Curtis becomes obsessed with making sure the younger Welch survives the war. This leads to the incident where Curtis stands accused of deliberately placing his squad in harm's way for his own survival.

A pocket war comic worth getting a hold of, if not just for the cover of the paratrooper with the grenade firmly in his grasp, pin clenched between his teeth and gritty determinism in his eyes. Also worth getting to see a British officer being a murderous swine - behaviour that is usually only attributed to the Hun.

For those who take an interest the inarticulate cry Seize-and Hold has quite a number. Among the many interpretations there are AAAGH, AIEEE..., AHGHH!, AAGH!, UGGGH!, and an AAAHHH...

 Everybody deserves a friend.
It was another Thursday evening game night and as usual Barney would always take forever during his turn of Axis and Allies

 That's one really ugly dude in the foreground.
...and I think I got him - but I wasn't sure. So I fired again.
 Caution - Loonie English officer on the loose.

German army experiments in supine levitation are moderately successful.

I just want to make sure that I got them!

You know...despite the death and destruction and explosions and having most of my platoon killed right around me this war thing just isn't doing it for me anymore. 

And a mighty fine AHGHH---.

A strange little panel.

Dead guys in a field and a short AAGH!
Kiss me you fool. You know you want to and you know I want you too.

What a guy! If I had one like that I'd have it out too.

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