Page 1


BULLET MAGNET WO YEARS INTO THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND, IN A DIMLY-LIT WHITEHALL OFFICE, A CURIOUS SCENE WAS BEING PLAYED OUT. SCATTERED ACROSS THE TABLE AND FLOOR WERE DOZENS AND DOZENS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAITS THAT ONE MAN WAS DESPERATELY SEARCHING THROUGH. WHEN, FINALLY, RECOGNITION CAME, HE GRINNED BROADLY — ONE SOLDIER’S WAR WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE FOR EVER.

T

AT LAST! I’VE FOUND HIM!

STORY SEAN BLAIR ART MIKE WHITE COVER MIKE WHITE


4 FAR AWAY FROM WHITEHALL, ALONG WITH THOUSANDS OF OTHER BRITISH SOLDIERS, PRIVATE RICHARD COOPER — AN ACTOR UNTIL WAR INTERVENED — WAS A RELUCTANT PROTECTOR OF CRETE. HE AND HIS PLATOON WERE GUARDING A BRIDGE UP IN THE HILLS BESIDE A LONG-ABANDONED VILLAGE.

IT DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT, ANDY. I FEEL LIKE I USED TO THE DAY BEFORE PLAYING THE GLASGOW EMPIRE — THOSE WERE ENEMY PLANES WE SAW. THERE’S TROUBLE ON THE WAY!

AS RICHARD FELL SILENT, SOMETHING MOVED TOWARDS THEM IN THE DARK, GLIDING RATHER THAN WALKING FORWARDS. STILL AN ACTOR AT HEART, HE INSTINCTIVELY QUOTED SHAKESPEARE.

NOT QUITE. NO GHOST — JUST SOME RIPPED PARACHUTE SILK. WHICH MEANS THE JERRIES ARE ALREADY DOWN AND NEAR US!

QUIET A SEC, MATE, I THINK I SAW SOMETHING MOVING!

GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST!


5 RICHARD AND HIS MATE, PRIVATE ANDY EDWARDS, SHOWED THEIR DISCOVERY TO SERGEANT ALBERT MULLARD, WHO WAS BUSY RIGGING THE BRIDGE TO BLOW IN THE EVENT OF ENEMY ATTACK. HERE YOU GO, SARGE, HATE TO BE THE BEARER OF BAD TIDINGS BUT WE’VE GOT COMPANY COMING…ENEMY PARATROOPS!

THANKS, COOPER. WELL, DON’T YOU WORRY, I THINK WE’RE READY FOR THEM, JUST ABOUT!

HAVING NEVER BEFORE EXPERIENCED BATTLE, RICHARD WAS NERVOUS. WHEN HE WAS NERVOUS HE TALKED — AS ANDY KNEW ALL TOO WELL. THAT IT SHOULD END LIKE THIS…IN A PEASANT VILLAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I, WHO ONCE GARNERED RAVE REVIEWS FROM TOP THEATRE CRITICS. DID I EVER QUOTE YOU THE BERMONDSEY CHRONICLE’S WRITE-UP OF ME?

I THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE MENTIONED IT ONCE OR TWICE, COOP.


6 IT’S ACTUALLY PRONOUNCED COUPE. LIKE THE CAR, YOU KNOW!

THE SERGEANT HAD A GUARDED RESPECT FOR RICHARD, RECKONING HE WAS A GOOD MAN AS LONG AS HE KEPT ON A TIGHT LEASH. ENOUGH! YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING OUT FOR JERRY, NOT GABBING!

OH WELL, HE’S GOOD FOR MORALE AT LEAST…WHAT OTHER PLATOON HAS SHAKESPEAREAN RECITALS PERFORMED DAILY?

MULLARD HAD ATTEMPTED TO REPORT THEIR DISCOVERY AND SUMMON REINFORCEMENTS, BUT THE RADIO WAS PROVING TROUBLESOME. THE OPERATOR WAS SURE THE SET WAS HEALTHY, THOUGH. STILL NOTHING, JENKINS?

ONLY STATIC, SARGE. THEY’RE JAMMING US, POUND TO A PENNY.


7 THE RADIOMAN HAD BARELY FINISHED SPEAKING WHEN FOR AN INSTANT THE NIGHT WAS ILLUMINATED BY THE FLASH OF A SHOT AND HE FELL WOUNDED. ARGGHHH!

WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!

THE ATTACKING PARATROOPERS MOVED FAST, BUT MULLARD KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING. HE HAD POSITIONED HIS MEN IN MUTUALLY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS SO THEIR FIRING COVERED THE MOST ANGLES POSSIBLE — WITH DEADLY RESULTS.

ARRGHH!

THAT’S IT, MAKE EACH SHOT COUNT!


8 RICHARD AND ANDY WERE IN THE THICK OF IT, BLAZING AWAY AS LEAD SPATTERED THE STONES ALL AROUND THEM.

QUITE A LOT OF ‘EM, AIN’T THERE?

TO QUOTE THE BARD, ‘SCREW YOUR COURAGE TO THE STICKING PLACE AND WE’LL NOT FAIL’. HEY, THAT NEARLY HIT ME!

OUTRAGED, RICHARD STOOD UP HIGH TO GET A BETTER AIM AT THE GERMAN PARATROOPS. THE BLOOMING CHEEK OF IT! TAKE POTSHOTS AT ME, WILL YOU? BLOOMIN’ HECK, COOP, TRYING TO BE A BULLET MAGNET ARE YOU? GET DOWN AGAIN!


9 ANDY’S SHOUT AND ANOTHER NEAR MISS RESTORED RICHARD’S COMMON SENSE. HE FELL BACK INTO THE FOXHOLE NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON. SORRY, JUST GET A BIT CAUGHT UP IN THE ROLE SOMETIMES. OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD OF AN ACTOR, YOU KNOW…

UNLESS YOUR AMBITION IS TO PLAY A DEAD BODY YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN MORE!

HOLD ON IN THERE, LADS! IT’S NOT LONG UNTIL DAWN AND THEY ARE BOUND TO FALL BACK THEN!

HOWEVER, SHAPES IN THE DARKENED SKY TOLD A DIFFERENT STORY. MORE ENEMY PARACHUTES WERE FALLING — MANY PARACHUTES.

TAKE A LOOK, SARGE, PLENTY MORE FOR THE SKYLARK!

I HOPED THIS MIGHT JUST BE A RAID, BUT IT’S LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE A FULLY-FLEDGED INVASION.


10 THE BRITISH HAD BEEN OUTNUMBERED FROM THE START. NOW THEY WERE SUSTAINING EVER MORE CASUALTIES WHILE THE GERMAN RANKS GREW STEADILY FROM THE SKY. IT’S NO GOOD, THE RADIO’S STILL JAMMED. THERE’S NO REINFORCEMENTS COMING — WE’RE ON OUR OWN, LADS, SO WE’VE A DECISION TO MAKE!

I’M ABOUT TO BLOW THE BRIDGE… THEN WE EITHER SURRENDER, OR CHANCE A FIGHTING RETREAT DOWN TO THE COAST. IT’S UP TO YOU!

BY THE TIME THE BRIDGE WAS DETONATED THE PLATOON’S SURVIVORS HAD ALREADY BEGUN THEIR RETREAT. UNDER COVER OF A THICK SMOKESCREEN THEY LOWERED THEMSELVES INTO THE DRIED-UP RIVER BED BENEATH IT.

THIS’LL GIVE US A BIT MORE TIME. BY THE TIME JERRY REALISES WE’VE HOPPED IT WE SHOULD ALREADY BE WELL AWAY!

WE FIGHT ON! MA EDWARDS DIDN’T RAISE ME TO BE A QUITTER!


comm_4436_teaser  

T WOYEARSINTOTHESECONDWORLDWARAND,INADIMLY-LITWHITEHALLOFFICE, STORY SEAN BLAIR ART MIKE WHITE COVER MIKE WHITE ACURIOUSSCENEWASBEINGPLAYEDO...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you