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CREATION

"Mad" Tommy Churchill was created by Peter Milligan, Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy as a member of Bad Company (which started in prog 500 of 2000AD). He was one of hte few characters to survive and make it to the sequel, The Bewilderness. Tommy, although somewhat subverted, ties into a long tradition of British comic book heroes who date back to anthologies such as Battle, Warlord and Lion.

ORIGIN

Tommy Chuchill was a soldier fighting in the war on Ararat against the vicious Krool. His commanding officer was a man named, Kano, a hard but fair leader who believed in the preservation of decency in the face of the violence of war. Unfortunately, these beliefs proved to be tragic when, instead of killing some Krool soldiers, Kano decided to keep them prisoner. The Krool prisoners eventually escaped during the night and murdered many of Kano's troops before fleeing. Kano confided to Tommy, his only trusted aide that he was not sure if he had made the right decision; he doubted if it was possible to be decent in an undecent war.

On their way back to camp, the platoon was ambushed by Krool and only Tommy escaped, leaving Kano to be taken prisoner. While imprisoned, Kano was experimented on, having half his brain removed and replaced with that of a Krool soldier causing him to have mad and enraged 'neuro-flips' with that of the Krool brain within his skull. Meanwhile, Tommy survived in the jungles for weeks, living off the land and waiting for a chance to rescue Kano.

Eventually Kano killed his captors and escaped, finding Tommy there waiting for him. Bearing witness to Kano's violent rages and complete change of personality, Tommy began to act insane, "Mad" Tommy who thought that he was in the Second World War. Tommy also gave Kano a box, a box which he informed Kano contained the human half of his brain that the Krool had removed. In truth, the brain was that of an unknown dead soldier. Tommy gave it to Kano in the hope that it would help him maintain his sanity and spare Tommys' life. The plan, as insane as it seemed, seemingly worked and Tommy survived, choosing to stay at his former friends side, as much through loyalty as a sense of self preservation.

Kano and Tommy went on to fight together in an endless series of battles, eventually recruiting more into their fold and forming the unit, Bad Company. Inevitably, Bad Company were wiped out, only Tommy, Danny Franks and Mac surviving.

Or so they thought.

Eventually, they discovered that Kano was still alive and hunted him down, eventually finding him and convincing him to rejoin the new Bad Company II. Unfortunately for Tommy, he was accidentally murdered by Kano himself when Kano was engulfed in one of his 'neuroflips' where he exchanged minds with a murderous Krool. Tommy's coffin was launched into space where he would finally be at peace.

CHARACTER EVOLUTION

Tommy, when first introduced was a sterotypical english World War II soldier, albeit in a futuristic war zone. Using terms like 'luv a duck' and 'cor blimey', he was the classic cockney bootstrap boy of WWII. However, after revealing that it was all an act in issue 517 of 2000 AD, Tommy's character became more complex, a traumatised survivor of war, certainly, but no madder than any other who had experienced such atrocity. By the end of the first story arc it is established that the whole 'mad' routine was invented not only for self preservations sake, but also to cope with the madness of war. By the second story arc though, 'The Bewilderness', Tommy seems to have reverted to his previous personality, that of the WWII soldier. Before his death at Kano's hand, Tommy does not feature heavily in the second story arc, the stories thrust taken up with the introduction and formation of the second Bad Company. Still, his death comes as a sad and tragic loss to one of the series' mainstays.

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