Saturday, 21 November 2015
Battle and Valiant (1977)
One of the main British comics I grew up with was Valiant. It finally ended publication in 1976 and was merged with Battle Picture Weekly, a more modern comic. These all appeared in a period when I had all but ceased reading British weeklies and was only just returning to comic reading through DC and Marvel after a gap of a few years.
Battle and Valiant is certainly a good read and I know that that Battle in it's various incarnations was one of the stronger British comics absorbing a number of other titles including the controversial Action which I'll have to get around to reading one of these days!
Picking up copies at random I chose the 11th June 1977 issue because of the cover and the story that goes with it. Unusually Panzer G-Man covers the Second World War from the perspective of a German soldier and his comrades, which given the inherent anti-German element of the British national character prevalent as I grew up was a brave move.
This comic also includes Johnny Red which has recently been revived by Titan Comics for a mini-series and I can see why. A complex adventure about a disgraced British pilot fighting alongside Russians and facing mistrust from the NKVD at a time when Stalin's rule could not be questioned. Ordinary men and women caught in a war between two totalitarian ideologies where life was cheap. Another brave choice.
Sadly none of the features I associated with Valiant have survived the merger. Even the indomitable Captain Hurricane has just a cameo appearance on one of the readers pages. The Steel Claw nowhere to be seen...
Still times change. Tastes change and this war-story orientated comic is well worth picking up.
Other stories include Darkie's Mob, Hell Island, Joe Two Beans ( a "Red" Indian at war) and Rat Pack.
Another British title to add to my growing list of "wants" for my collection.