Thursday, May 5, 2011

War at Sea Picture Library 19 Close Quarters

The Germans speak in Close Quarters. You get to hear the bad guys. You get see a Hudson flying around. You get to see some serious remorse. What's not to like?
A green coastal defence pilot has some big ideas on how to sink Nazi submarines at night. However being the new Johnny he is quickly pulled into line by his CO. But being young and having big ideas entices our hero to try his "trick". He is promptly rewarded for his display of bravado by being shot down and having most of his crew killed. He is then rescued by the very same virulent convoy sinking U-Boat that he was trying to destroy.
This is a pretty interesting pocket war comic.
The senior British command are shown as staid, conservative, lacking in imagination and ready to quash any display of initiative. The Germans are shown as resourceful. However when the young British pilot at the centre of the story makes the opportunity and produces some results it is at a heavy price. Usually redemption features heavily in these stories but in Close Quarters it is replaced by remorse.
Also the Germans aren't shown as out-and-out bad guys. They're just doing their best trying to get the most bang per buck and get away alive. However in true bad guy style the Captain of the U-Boat just has to go and sow the seeds of his own destruction. When he meets and greets his newly captured prisoners he gives them "the secret". Even though the U-Boat captain is far more likable than the senior RAF stiffs he still is a bad guy after all and has to pay the ultimate price. This is a great comic. If you can find it, keep it.

Close Quarters jumps straight into the action.
 Why all the shouting?
The Royal Navy - where irony is met with sarcasim.
...also you're not really air crew until  you grow a tash.
A bad end to the day.
 What a shift from the comical representation of this character from beginning of the story.
 After the war of course I will set up a secret organisation...
Pretty grim business this war.
 A Sunderland. Magnificent.
 How else could you explain it?
Could this be the best final panel ever?

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