It is surprisingly difficult to depict an air raid siren in a comic book. If anyone fancies coming up with a better sound effect, I’m all ears.

People associate a lot of things with London that Londoners themselves can grow very exhausted with very quickly – the routemaster buses, the black cabs, the red phone boxes, things that are used almost exclusively by the tourists these days – but there’s one abiding moment that we’re happy to tell the visiting holidaymakers over and over again. It seared itself into the city’s psyche and has lingered long after all evidence of it happening has been built over: St Paul’s rising through the black smoke daring the Luftwaffe to have another go if it thinks it’s hard enough. The Blitz left scars on the capital, but they’re scars that we’re weirdly proud of and love showing off to people like a bludgeoned boxing champ. Other cities have been hit way harder in their time, but we’re one of the few that got battered to hell and back and WON – Stalin gave Leningrad a medal for that sort of thing, and Malta collectively got the George Cross, but we Londoners didn’t need the plaudits, we limped along with the profound satisfaction of a job well done.

That feeling of pride was passed down to future generations. The sheer mind-numbing terror of being pounded around the clock by faceless fascist lackeys unable to do anything to make it stop, not so much. I think that may have warped our memories of the moment, encouraging nostalgia for a time when we were all in this together. Those other places that got hit hard – Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima – they had to face their trauma without any pride that it’d all been worth it, they’d fought for the right to be terrible to other people and lost super-hard. Victory liberated us from having to deal with what happened on a psychological level. Just like after France was liberated everybody claimed to be part of the resistance, we used our triumph as an excuse to ignore a picture of ourselves under pressure that might not have been as positive as we liked to remember it.

When we talk about London, we have to talk about The Blitz – and we owe it to ourselves to have that conversation honestly.