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AX AND SID IN BOTHER AGAIN? YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT...AND THIS TIME THE M STAKES ARE EVEN HIGHER. SEE FOR YOURSELF AS THE ACTION SPREADS TO BERLIN WHERE DIE-HARD NAZIS WANT TO START A THIRD WORLD WAR!

STORY MAC MACDONALD ART CARLOS PINO COVER CARLOS PINO


4 SID O’BRIEN WAS AN ACTOR AND STUNTMAN WHO, DURING THE WAR, HAD DOUBLED FOR THE FAMED FIELD MARSHAL BERNARD MONTGOMERY. HE HAD ENDED UP ON THE RUN IN THE DESERT WITH MAX SINGER - A RELUCTANT DOUBLE FOR ADOLF HITLER - AND FELLOW ACTOR.

WE MIGHT NEED TO CHANGE OUR APPROACH AND TRY FOR THE FILM INDUSTRY SINCE IT’S PICKING UP AGAIN. BUT NOW I DESERVE A BREAK WITH A VISIT TO THE CINEMA. 1947...MAX WAS LAID UP WITH A COLD AND SID WAS SWEATING A BIT TOO AS HE POUNDED THE STREETS OF LONDON TRYING TO FIND WORK FOR THEM. AN IDEA FOR A PANTOMIME DUBBED “ADOLF AND THE SEVEN DWARVES” HADN’T GONE DOWN WELL, WHAT WITH MOST PEOPLE TRYING TO FORGET ABOUT THE WAR. THE FILM ON OFFER WAS ONE HE HAD BEEN WANTING TO SEE FOR A LONG TIME. HE SETTLED IN HIS SEAT AND TOOK OFF THE FRENCH-STYLE BERET HE HAD TAKEN TO WEARING AS IT REMINDED HIM OF HIS MONTGOMERY HEADGEAR. HE PREPARED TO FORGET ALL HIS WORRIES AS THE LIGHTS DIMMED.

I’LL SNOOZE THROUGH THE NEWSREELS AND THE FILM’S MUSIC WILL WAKEN ME UP. IT ALWAYS DOES…


5 BUT THE FORTY WINKS NEVER CAME. A STRIDENT VOICE FILLED THE CINEMA AS THE FIRST ITEM OF NEWS SHOWED ADOLF HITLER IN FULL FLOW. HE WAS PROMISING THAT HE WAS ALIVE AND WELL AND READY TO SAVE EUROPE FROM THE THREAT POSED BY THE RUSSIAN OCCUPATION FORCES. THE COMMENTATOR BROKE IN THEN... IT SEEMS THE FUHRER DID NOT DIE IN THE RUINS OF BERLIN AND COULD WELL STILL BE ALIVE IF THIS REPORT IS TO BE BELIEVED. SOME EXPERTS SAY THAT THE VOICE CLEARLY IS HERR HITLER’S, BUT NOT ALL ARE CONVINCED.

SID KNEW AT ONCE THAT IT WASN’T THE FUHRER ON THE SCREEN BUT HIS STAGE COMPANION MAX. BUT WHAT WAS HIS FRIEND UP TO?

SURELY HE WOULDN’T HAVE TAKEN ON THIS JOB WITHOUT TELLING ME? HE CAN’T BE THAT DESPERATE FOR WORK.


6 HE RUSHED FROM THE CINEMA, HEADING FOR MAX’S DIGS. HE BOUGHT A PAPER ON THE WAY AND LEARNED THAT THE STORY HAD BROKEN THE PREVIOUS NIGHT.

TOO BUSY TO READ A RAG FOR DAYS NOW AND THIS HAPPENS… HITLER COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD. EXCEPT THAT I THINK IT’S MAX PLAYING THE PART. BUT WHY?

A TAXI WAS HAILED AND HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO MAX’S BEDSIT. BOMB DAMAGE WAS STILL OBVIOUS FROM THE LUFTWAFFE RAIDS, BUT HERE WAS A POSSIBILITY THAT ANOTHER WAR MIGHT START. THE ALLIES WERE NO LONGER SO FRIENDLY AND AMERICA AND BRITAIN WERE FALLING OUT MORE AND MORE WITH THEIR RUSSIAN COUNTERPARTS.

IT’S BAD IN BERLIN IN PARTICULAR, A DIVIDED CITY GOVERNED BY OUR FORCES AND THE AMERICANS, THE FRENCH…AND THE SOVIETS. IT COULD BE THE FLASHPOINT FOR ANOTHER WAR WITH US AGAINST THE RUSSKIES.


7 MAX’S LANDLADY KNEW SID. SHE HADN’T SEEN HER TENANT FOR A FEW DAYS, NOT SINCE A POSTCARD HAD COME FOR HIM. NOT THAT I READ IT, BUT IT WAS FROM THE RED CROSS ABOUT SOME RELATIVE IN BERLIN LOOKING FOR MAX AND TELLING HIM WHERE HE WAS LIVING.

I NEED TO SEE THAT CARD. CAN YOU LET ME IN, PLEASE? I WON’T BE LONG.

THERE WAS NO SIGN OF THE CARD, BUT THERE WAS A GERMAN STREET ADDRESS SCRAWLED ON THE MARGIN OF AN OLD NEWSPAPER. SID CLUTCHED AT THIS GLIMMER OF HOPE.

I’LL REPORT TO THE INTELLIGENCE BLOKES WHO USED TO LOOK AFTER US. THEY WILL BE ABLE TO HELP.


8 THAT WASN’T AS EASY AS HE HAD HOPED. NOBODY SEEMED TO BE AROUND WHO KNEW ABOUT THE DOUBLE ACT AND NOBODY SEEMED TO CARE. MAJOR SIMPSON ISN’T HERE ANY MORE. HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO SINGAPORE AFTER HE POSTED A LIVE GRENADE TO THE C.O. AS A JOKE. YOU COULD ALWAYS SEND HIM A TELEGRAM, BUT I HAVEN’T AN ADDRESS FOR HIM.

HOW ON EARTH DID WE WIN THE WAR WITH NITWITS LIKE THAT AROUND?

AN OLD CONTACT SERVING IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE WAS HIS TICKET ON TO A WAR-WORN DAKOTA DESTINED FOR BERLIN WITH FOOD SUPPLIES TO BOOST CIVILIAN RATIONS. THE FARE? A CASE OF FINE SCOTCH WHISKY. GOOD LUCK, SID. BRING BACK SOME GERMAN DANCING GIRLS FOR THE MESS. I BET YOU COULD IF YOU TRIED. I’LL DO MY BEST… TOODLE-OO.


9 SID WAS IN A HURRY TO HELP MAX, SURE HE WAS IN BIG TROUBLE, BUT HE ALSO WANTED TO BE AIRBORNE BEFORE HIS R.A.F. FRIEND LOOKED TOO CLOSELY AT THE WHISKY BOTTLE LABELS.

THE BOOZE CAN’T BE TOO BAD. IT WILL CLEAN UP MEDALS AND THE LIKE IF NOTHING ELSE. BUT MY PRIORITY IS MAX…AND WHATEVER ELSE IS GOING ON.

HE HITCHED A RIDE FROM THE AIRFIELD INTO THE BOMB-SCARRED CITY QUITE EASILY, AND DECIDED HE HAD BETTER FIND A HOTEL OR BOARDING HOUSE FOR HIS STAY.

THEN I CAN REALLY LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHAT I CAN UNCOVER. YOU CAN FEEL THE TENSION IN THE AIR HERE. HE BOUGHT A MAP AND BOOKED INTO A SMALL ROOM. HE SOON SAW...


10 ...THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM WAS THE FACT THAT BERLIN, ALTHOUGH DIVIDED INTO SECTIONS CONTROLLED BY THE OTHER ALLIES, WAS LIKE AN ISLAND MAROONED ON ITS OWN WITH SOVIET TERRITORY SURROUNDING IT, CUTTING IT OFF FROM THE REST OF GERMANY. THIS RE-APPEARANCE OF HITLER ISN’T GOING DOWN WELL WITH ANYBODY, LEAST OF ALL MOST BERLINERS. THEY FEEL ISOLATED ENOUGH ALREADY.

NEXT DAY, WITH THE HELP OF HIS STREET MAP AND THE BASIC GERMAN HE HAD LEARNED FROM MAX, HE LOCATED THE ADDRESS WHICH HIS FRIEND HAD SCRIBBLED ON THE NEWSPAPER. OR EATHER, HE FOUND WHERE THE STREET HAD BEEN UNTIL ALLIED BOMBERS HAD POUNDED IT TO RUBBLE IN 1945.

THIS IS A DEAD-END THEN, BUT I BET MAX CAME HERE. SO WHERE WOULD HE GO NEXT?



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