Friday, 8 November 2013

Ro-Busters: Hammer-Stein's War Memoirs, Part 5 - Only Robots Left Alive!

NAME
Ro-Busters: Hammer-Stein's War Memoirs, Part 5 - Only Robots Left Alive!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 92

DATELINE
25 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1988, Cyber Crush 04, Extreme Edition 24, Ro-Busters Book 1 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Hammer-Stein talks about the Battle of Hell Fire Hill.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Ro-Jaws drawn by Mike White.

INFORMATION
The US Army dug in along the front with some soldiers spending five years there. They gave areas names like Hellfire Hill, 5th Avenue and Miami Beach. The Battle of Hell Fire Hill saw US forces win despite suffering 85% casualties. Following the battle, human soldiers were pulled out and replaced with robot troops.

The Volgans began producing robot soldiers called Terror Machines.


RO-JAWS
He uses Hammer-Stein old head as a ventriloquist's dummy.

HAMMER-STEIN
He spent five years on the front and survives the Battle of Hell Fire Hill. He can shoot from his head and shoulder. He is decorated and promoted to Sergeant. 'Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa' is his favourite song.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SERGEANT JOE FARMER
He drowns in the mud during the Battle of Hell Fire Hill.

'BABY-FACE' BRANNIGAN
He is the first to die in the Battle of Hell Fire Hill.

'BOMBER' HARRISON
He survives the Battle of Hell Fire Hill and remains to fight alongside Hammer-Stein even after Human soldiers were being pulled out.

DEATHS
Eighty-five per cent of US forces became casualties, including Baby-Face who died on the wire around the trench, Joe Farmer who drowned in the mud,

BEST LINES
Officer: "Where are you going? Aren't you proud you've got medals?"
Pork Chop: "Thanks...But- We're tryin' to give 'em up!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Ro-Jaws says "Gottle o'gear! Gottle o'gear! Whose a pretty boy then?" and "Who loves yer, baby?" (see INFLUENCES & REFERENCES below).

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Hammer-Stein sings 'Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa', a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David which was a hit for Gene Pitney in 1963. Harrison reads Biggles Flies Again (1934) by W. E. Johns (1893–1968). Sergeant Farmer mentions The Avon Lady referencing the business model of Avon that sees door-to-door sales people buy the product and sell it on at a profit. The company was founded in 1896. One panel features troops raising the flag on Hell Fire Hill and is drawn as visual reference to Raising The Flag On Iwo Jima is a historic photograph taken during the battle on the 23rd of February 1945 by Joe Rosenthal (1911–2006). "Gottle o'gear!" is a notorious phrase among ventriloquists struggling to say "Bottle of beer", while "Who's a pretty boy then?" is apparently a popular phrase among parrots. "Who loves yer, baby?" is the catchphrase of Kojak (1973-1978)

MISTAKES
"Whose a pretty boy then?" should be "Who's a pretty boy then?"

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike White
Letters: Tom Frame

Mike White also drew for Abelard Snazz, Disaster 1990, Tharg's Future Shocks, Armoured Gideon, The Mean Arena, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales, Time Twisters, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, The Lawless Touch, Mind Wars, Tharg The Mighty and Wagner's Walk.

REVIEW
Hammer-Stein's War Memoirs features some great art, believable trench warfare and provides an interesting insight into the character, but it's bizarre that after such a personal story for Hammer-Stein that Ro-Jaws gets the last word.