Sunday, July 17, 2011

Battle Picture Library 99 Battle Royal

There's this truck driver, see? But he's not really a truck driver, well he really is, he's really a king. Yeah! A real king. Except he doesn't have a kingdom - well he does, but it's not a patch of dirt or a castle - well there was one but that's under water now. It got flooded by the king to save his kingdom. Because a kingdom is about people and not crowns and things. That, boys and girls, is the story contained in Battle Picture Library 99 Battle Royal. And that's a Royal with cheese.

The king of the story is a truck driving private by the name of Hazard who is given the kingship, and a tumble down castle in the middle of a swamp (but without huge tracts of land) as a bequest from a dying Dutchman. Not because he was nice guy but because Hazard is made of the right stuff to lead men and fight.

There's much direct reference in this story that you can't be made of the right stuff if you're only a truck driver - after all you're not a fighting man are you? That reminds me, I understand that Benny Hill was a truck driver in Europe after the D-Day landings. However, unlike Hazard he didn't start shooting Germans or become royalty.

The story becomes interesting when Hazard, in full possession of his castle in the swamp, goes feral and starts shooting at British Commandos, who want to destroy his kingdom by opening some sluice gates in order to flood the formidable German defences. However Hazard reminds himself of the big picture and realises that if losing his kingdom also means drowning a lot of Germans then he should do it.

The really stupid part of the story involves the location of seat of the kingdom - a ruined castle on an island swarming with resistance fighters that the Germans somehow missed in their planning for the defence of the area.

However there is a darker side to this pocket war comic. The enemy is not usually shown being refused mercy and there also are a fair few dead people to be seen lying around.
However despite the absurd story, Battle Picture Library 99 Battle Royal is a rolicking good read!

Shark Leader? These guys are full of it!
Sometimes you just have to fight back. Too bad about the Lieutenant and the Sarge.
 What a great expression on that officer's face.
 Squareheads! Why do they get in the way?
The double AAGH! Now there's a first.
 No mercy!
 ...and you'll never guess that's where our secret base is located!
Nice gun!
Just like in Portahouse Blue.
Thank you captain obvious.
 Sometimes the bad guys have a win.
Rare to see dead good guys.
 That oufit is a bit tight Hazard.
 You'd be saying more than himmel!

Is that a grenade in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

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