The latest issue of SGT MIKE BATTLE: THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO! is unlike any other and sees Sgt. Mike Battle, Agent of STARS AND STRIPES have a fight in a sauna, suave British Secret Agent Roger Knightly resigns from CROWN AND SCEPTRE and the lovely Shapely Charms gets fitted for her wedding dress!
Issue #13 of the book that Indie writer/artist Graham Pearce likes to call â€œthe best kept secret in comicsâ„¢â€ is once again set in 1965 but sees a dramatic change as Sgt Mike Battle takes a step back and the focus turns to Roger Knightly who is starting to panic about his impending wedding to Shapely Charms.
â€œFor various reasons Roger is starting to worry about the weddingâ€ explains Pearce. â€œHe is convinced that with all the English and American VIPs in attendance that the Soviets are going to attack the church and wipe them all out. Some people think that Roger is being paranoid, otherâ€™s think he doesnâ€™t want to get married and is using it as an excuse to call it off.â€
Pearce explains why the story is told from Roger Knightlyâ€™s perspective. â€œAt the end of issue #12 we discovered something about Roger that shocked everyone. At some point in the past he started working with the Soviet Union and that decision has come back to haunt him. In issue #13 I needed to make it clear that he isnâ€™t as bad as the revelation suggests, to show that maybe he isnâ€™t as brave as we previously thought but also that he is actually torn between his secret agenda and his true feeling for Shapely Charms. The only way to effectively show his inner turmoil was to tell the story from his point of view.â€
Originally the romance between Roger Knightly and Shapely Charms was meant to conclude in #13 but Pearce chose to extend it into #14. â€œThe story kept growing and I simply didnâ€™t have enough space for everything. I couldnâ€™t fit everything it all into a single issue so rather than cram it all into 24 pages I decided to spread it over 2 issues. The event of #13 now focus on the build up to the wedding and #14 is the wedding itself (and the inevitable overblown fight scene that may or may not ensue).
Graham Pearce is always subverting genre clichÃ©s in SGT MIKE BATTLE: THE GREATEST AMERICAN and remains tight-lipped about the exact events of #14.