|Comic Strip Info|
|Released:||December 9, 2009|
|Number of pages:||21|
The WAR! Comic is a multi-part comic released between 9 December 2009 through 15 December 2009. It serves as a tie-in comic to the WAR! Update, featuring the Administrator and Miss Pauling seeking to dissolve a friendship between the RED Demoman and the BLU Soldier.
The story begins with the Administrator watching the RED and BLU teams fight on various maps before noticing a RED Spy sneaking into a BLU base. She then draws attention to Miss Pauling, standing nervously behind her. Miss Pauling explains that while running a background check on the BLU Soldier and RED Demoman, they discovered that the two have become friends after meeting at a Projectile Weapons Expo, observed as a betrayal of the Administrator's trust. The Administrator inquires Pauling on what friends actually do, before being told that friends sometimes interact with one another.
Alarmed at the possibility that both mercenaries could discover that they are working for the same person, the Administrator decides to take action and instructs Miss Pauling to call Saxton Hale to have him develop custom weapons as incentives for each friend to turn on the other. The comic then cuts to Hale, equipped with a parachute, preparing to jump out of an airplane. The pilot orders Hale to not jump as they are at too low an altitude; Hale ignores the order and gracefully crash-lands through a glass window installed in his office, where he is met by Mann Co. employees Mr. Bidwell and Mr. Reddy. While eating his breakfast steak, Hale discusses company matters with his associates. Mr. Reddy informs him that an associate from TF Industries wishes to talk to Hale; he quickly receives the phone, assuming that the Administrator is on the line, whom he addresses to as "Helen" - the individual on the other end is revealed to be Pauling. Hale tells Pauling that he had also recently discovered the nature of the mercenaries' relationship, willing to pursue additional leads.
The comic then cuts to the RED Demoman on his morning off preparing tea for his mother at home, who is hassling him about needing to get more than three jobs. While the Demoman retorts this by saying he earned $5,000,000 the previous year, his mother scoffs at him for spending rather than saving. Interrupted by a knock on the door, the Demoman answers to Miss Pauling and questions her presence: she relays that the Administrator wants him to kill his best friend. Unable to be persuaded by three individual weapons (the Scottish Resistance, the Chargin' Targe, and the Eyelander) packed into large crates, Pauling informs the Demoman that the Soldier accepted an identical offer from his employers.
The comic's final chapter cuts to a messenger being sent to the BLU Soldier's apartment. Avoiding two gunshots and a neck snap, the messenger is allowed inside. The Soldier then questions the man's identity while taking cover behind an upturned table, pointing a shotgun at him. The messenger then opens his trench coat to reveal a television screen strapped to his body displaying a video call with the Administrator, who then addresses the Soldier. She offers him two options: he either allows her associates to drive him to the nearest gravel pit where they kill him for gross insubordination, or he resorts to killing his best friend. He rejects both offers and threatens to attack the Administrator if asked to kill the Demoman again. The Administrator questions their friendship and plays a fabricated video of the Demoman with a synthesized voice-over, alleging that the Soldier is a bad friend. The Soldier, while put off by this, hesitantly refuses to carry out the offer again as the two have formed a bond; the video continues playing and reveals that the Soldier had never served in any military position and is in fact a civilian.
Overwhelmed by the allegations, the Soldier accepts the offer in a fit of rage - the Administrator is pleased by this, and announces that he would shortly receive a set of new weapons. She then further clarifies that one of the weapons the Soldier would first obtain would be a "precision instrument" designed for taking down specific enemies with ease, while also characterizing on the ineffectiveness of its use as a rocket jumping tool.
Alternate "dirty" Saxton Hale WAR! pages
- Page 1
- Several of the TV screen images on this page are views from specific, identifiable cameras on the 2Fort map; for example, a TV screen on the left hand side of the page shows a BLU Scout checking out the camera at the top of the L-Shaft (straight stairs).
- A TV screen on the right hand side of the page shows a dead BLU Scout against the blast door at the top of the Spiral entrance to the Intelligence room at 2Fort. This is reference to the Meet the Spy video short, in which a RED Spy infiltrates the BLU base disguised as a Scout.
- Two screens down from that shows a BLU Soldier, Heavy, Spy (though only his shoulder can be seen) and Scout standing in the Intelligence room of the BLU base. This is again a reference to the Meet the Spy. This shot however does not fit into the timeline, as the four would only arrive in the Intelligence room after the Administrator announces the Spy's presence on Page 2.
- Page 2
- The Administrator calling out "Alert! A RED Spy is in the base!" is also a reference to the intro of the Meet the Spy video. However, in the actual video the Administrator says "Intruder alert! RED Spy is in the base!" There is also a goof in regards to this, as the Administrator says to "Protect the briefcase!" shortly after. This does not happen in the comic because the Administrator is talking to Miss Pauling.
- Here, as the Administrator is saying, "He’s disguised as the Scout.", she is looking directly at the video of a dead BLU Scout at the BLU end of the 2Fort Bridge.
- There is a photo of Zepheniah Mann's Family Portrait on the control panel.
- Page 5
- The control panel the Administrator is sitting at loses several dial gauges from the top of the panel to the bottom.
- Page 14
- "Slow-forged for generations in the bowels of captured English kings" is a play on the phrase "forged in the bowels of", meaning "created in the deep inner levels of a place". In this case, "bowels" refers to the intestines of English kings. There have been general myths associated with Damascus steel about thrusting it into the bowels of slaves or condemned prisoners to quench it.
- Page 16
- The name on the Soldier's door is Jane Doe, a military term used for an unnamed deceased woman. The name for a deceased male is John Doe.