Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The V.C.s

The V.C.s was a great series from the early years of 2000AD, one of a seemingly endless run of future war serials written by Gerry Finlay-Day, who also scripted Fiends Of The Eastern Front & Rogue Trooper.
The V.C.s ( short for The Vacuum Cleaners ) are a bunch of mismatched grunts in Earth's army, fighting in an interstellar war against the alien 'Geeks'. Like a 'Nam in space movie, the strip has every war cliche present and correct, including: The tough, grizzled Sarge who hides a heart of gold from his men; the incompetent general who blithely sends soldiers to their deaths; the crazed burn-out who's just as likely to take out his buddies as the enemy; the raw recruit a little too eager to prove himself, and the bitter combat veteran who just won't stop riding him. Oh yeah, and the ship's computer that's basically a glove puppet of the stoned hippie from Withnail & I, familiar from so many war movies.

The V.C.s is kind of the archetypal 2000AD strip, being fast-paced, action packed, blackly humorous & nihilistic, with just enough characterization to make you like the cast, but not enough to slow down the pace. There's also a few surprises, such as when new boy Smith momentarily decides to leave his arch enemy in the squad, Ringer, to the tender mercies of the Geek's torturers. By the next week's episode, Ringer is very obviously not back to his usual self. In fact, none of the The V.C.s survive the war unscathed. Those who do survive, that is.
Here's the lads in action. Time to Vape some Geeks!


  1. Yeah, I liked this one too. Loved Cam kennedy's art; and I thin this is where I pretty much discovered Garry Leach's brilliant art. Shame he doesn't do much anymore

  2. Yeah, I think I'm right in saying this was Leach's first printed work, pre-Marvelman. And he was great. That scene where Smith kicks Ringer's arse is so good it's almost Gil Kane!

  3. I followed 2000 AD religiously from about 1985-1989 and scarfed up as many back issues as I could find stateside but I missed this one. Still prefer ROGUE TROOPER but Leach's early art is quite polished.

  4. Gil Kane is exactly! what I was thinking when I looked at those panels again - yeah. I can't think of earlier Leach. He inked Bolland's Dredd once pretty early on - a Fergie-featured episode