Major Eazy is a not a character we’ve ever encountered before, but no one here at Under the Radar grew up in the UK during the ‘70s getting a comics fix from a low-budget magazine called Battle Pictures Weekly. Titan Books has set out to change all that with Major Eazy: Heart of Iron (Volume 1), a deluxe hardcover edition that compiles the story from its beginning.
Eazy looks a lot like James Coburn and brings his own car and weapons to the British invasion of Italy in 1943. The Italians are sort of beneath contempt; Eazy saves his sharpest barbs for the British brass, the Nazis and especially the Yanks.
The stories are pegged to events during the actual invasion but Eazy’s constant flouting of orders seems designed to appeal to 8-year-old boys with authority issues more than it does to create any kind of iconic military hero. Writer Alan Hedben claims that the character was inspired by Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name character in the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, but Eazy seems more like the kind of loose cannon that might have inspired Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs character in the Lethal Weapon movies. In any case, Eazy seems incredibly American (0r at least Hollywood) for a British officer. Eazy was drawn by artist Carlos Ezquerra, revered by comic nerds as the original creator of Judge Dredd.
Titan has done a great job of restoring the images for this book. They were originally printed on incredibly cheap paper that allowed images to bleed through the page and the new edition makes the series look better than it ever has before.
If you’re sensitive about how we had to bail out the Brits in WWII, you’re not going to like Eazy one bit. If you’ve got a more worldly perspective, it’s fascinating to see how one of our closest Allies creates its own WWII mythology.
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