While Blogger continues to confound me with its refusal to work properly and allow me to post comments and update anything except via my phone, I thought I would at least try to post episode two of Invasion! from the archives of the Galaxy's greatest comic, 2000 AD.
The second part carries just as much weight as the first, despite only carrying four panels. Dealing with the events immediately after the invasion, it not only establishes Bill Savage as a force to be reckoned with, but underpins his motivation for carrying on the fight; while neatly squeezing in two Clint Eastwood parodies! This is vintage Pat Mills at his best and Jesus Blasco's artwork continues to capture 1999 (1977) Britain perfectly.
This first panel hurls the reader straight back into the chaos and desperation of the doomed defence of Britain as the Volgan [Soviet] army smashes its way to victory. The British 'never-say-die' spirit perfectly evoked as the 'Fourth Battle Group' fight on and are destroyed on Sailsbury Plain, despite having been ordered to surrender. Its Chieftains succumbing to wave after wave of Volgan T62-esque tanks.
The Volgans' murderous character is outlined as they slaughter irradiated survivors from the nuclear strike on Birmingham and hang dazed-looking MPs from Westminster lamposts. The Volgan leader Marshal Vashkov exclaiming that the British will lose hope when they see their leaders executed. I suppose we did trust our politicians once, but I can't help but think in light of recent events, the great British public would be only be too grateful to assist in the lynchings now!
Next, probably the most dramatic entrance of any comic character anywhere - Savage bursts into a London pub, shotgun levelled at the Volgan tank crew that he believes killed his family. Never has Blasco's fine artwork so perfectly or dynamically captured a scene of high drama before or since.
The Cossack dancing Volg, who until that point had been revelling in victory and goading all present stops two barrels worth of lead at close range - sweet, hot revenge! Savage, oblivious to all around him, strides into the bar, coolly reloading his 'cannon' as the Volgans look on incredulously...
Now the second Eastwood parody; in typical Pat Mills style, Dirty Harry meets South London lorry driver. The vodka 'molotv' cocktail used to destroy the parked tank hinting at the last-minute editorial decision to change the nationality of the invaders from Soviet Russian to a politically correct (this was the real-life period of detente, after all) 'Volgan'.
So there it is, the second instalment of this classic, vintage series. I will post the next two parts and then select examples from later in its 51- episode run, over the coming months. In my opinion, looking back, the opening episodes have never lost their impact, were occasionally equalled; but never bettered.
If only a Savage-like figure was available...
That's it for now,