In Review: Major Eazy Volume One: The Italian Campaign

Review by Paul Trimble

Written by Alan Hebden
Art by Carlos Ezquerra
Published by Rebellion
Out: Now

Available as a limited edition hardback direct from Rebellion or paperback edition from other sellers, including AmazonUK

The Book: Go on patrol with Major Eazy, the laid-back British officer who always completes his mission!

Before Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog for 2000AD, comic maestro Carlos Ezquerra created an iconic star character of bestselling British war comic, Battle. Now Rebellion presents all of Major Eazy’s adventures remastered and from the beginning.

From pulse-pounding invasion of Sicily to the German surrender at Brenner Pass, Major Eazy Volume One collects all of the character’s adventures across the Italian arena of war.

The Review: I know a lot of you, myself included, already have the Titan Books hardcover Major Eazy collection, Heart of Iron, published in 2012 – and may be undecided about buying this new volume. But let me assure you, it’s well worth getting again.

I went for the Major Eazy hardcover edition, with that incredible John McCrea cover… what a treat!

Major Eazy Hardback collection – cover by John McCrea

This volume collects not only the first Eazy serial set in Sicily and Italy (as in the Titan edition) but also the second storyline set in North Africa, which has never been reprinted before.

The reproduction of the art is very crisp and clear, and it’s great to have the colour spreads restored, lacking from the Titan edition.

Major Eazy made his debut in Battle Picture Weekly cover dated 10th July 1976 and became an immediate favourite. Alan Hebden always writes a cracking yarn and Carlos Ezquerra‘s art is just perfect for the character. Scruffy, unshaven, and with complete disregard for authority, Eazy led the way through the Allied invasion of Sicily and then Italy in the first story arc, his laid back attitude perfectly capturing the mood of the mid 1970s.

The second story arc is set during the North African Campaign, chronologically before the first series and we’re introduced to Eazy’s indomitable Arab guide and driver , ewfik. Alan and Carlos are firing on all cylinders, as the duo stick it to the Africa Korps at every opportunity, even encountering a certain German General along the way.

These are terrific, fun stories which are every bit as entertaining now as they were back in the day. If you fancy something really cool to read then this book is for you- after all, there’s nobody cooler than Major Eazy!

Plus, we’re treated to a full gallery of the Battle covers which featured Major Eazy, also in colour.

This is a fabulous book and very highly recommended. Rebellion’s Keith Richardson and his team deserve a big round of applause! And, of course, a salute to Alan Hebden and Carlos Ezquerra who gave us this amazing character in the first place.

Paul Trimble

Major Eazy Volume One: The Italian Campaign is available in paperback from bookshops and comic shops, including AmazonUK – or hardcover exclusively from the Treasury Of British Comics online shop

In addition to being the organiser of Enniskillen Comic Con, Paul Trimble runs a lively Battle Fans Facebook Group, whose membership includes creators who worked on the original comic.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS TERRIFIC ART AUCTION

Art from "Lofty and The Eagle", a story for the 2020 Battle Special which was written by  by Peter Briggs. Art by Eoin Marron
Art from “Lofty and The Eagle”, a story for the 2020 Battle Special which was written by by Peter Briggs. Art by Eoin Marron

The Battle Fans group is currently running a Charity Art Auction of comic art on behalf of War Child, the London-based International charity whose mission is to protect and support children affected by war. Bids are currently being taken for with Page 2 of the “Lofty And The Eagle” story from last year’s Battle Special, published by Rebellion, kindly donated by Eoin Marron.

To bid, you’ll need to join the Group and make your bid in the comments on this post – bids close at 8.00pm on Sunday 28th February 2021. An illustration of the character “Specky Hector” donated by cartoonist Lew Stringer, who also featured in the Battle Special, will follow (a character that first appeared in Oink!), with a page of pencils from “Bravo, Black Lion” donated by Glenn Fabry and Karen Holloway and an A3 illustration of “Rat Pack” donated by Patrick Goddard rounding off this auction.

Last year’s Charity Auction,. run on similar lines, raised £559 for War Child.

War Child is online at warchild.org.uk

The web exclusive edition of last year’s Battle Special is still available from the 2000AD web shop

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Reviews, War Comics

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