The Best of Library of Death
Published by Hibernian Press
Black and White Square Bound
This edition compiled and edited by David McDonald
Design by Richard Pearce
Originally serialised in Speed comic issues 1-13 and 19-26 (February 23rd – May 17th and June 28th – August 16th 1980) Text story from Speed Annual 1982
Baker’s Half Dozen and Speed © Egmont UK Ltd
Genre – WWII
Introduction & internal cover art by Rufus Dayglo.
This volume brings a complete collection of the 1980’s war story from the British anthology Speed. This one is completely new to me, which is a delight. Art is by Mike Western but I don’t know who wrote this story.
Baker is a British Sergeant with stripes that are tattooed on and a set of hand cuffs hanging from his wrist. Thrown together with six soldiers from different units and varied backgrounds he has plans to fight their way out from hundreds of miles behind enemy lines.
This is of course a little bit Seven Samurai, without the imperiled villagers. Instead we’ve got a seven man army fighting on behalf of the Britian and the Commonwealth; there are five Britains, an Australian and an Indian in the group.
Baker clearly has a secret, he won’t talk about why he has handcuffs dangling from one hand.
Now unlike titles such as Charley’s War this story is a bit gung-ho and the Germans are treated rather poorly, cut down at every possible chance with no mercy. Often no defined running length was certain for stories in this eras and I feel this story might be one of those as the end does seem a little sudden. That said it is a very entertaining story and the end is fitting.
I enjoyed reading this story from over 30 years ago. David McDonald’s done comic fans a great service yet again.