Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Right, here was my review of issue #0, which Im reprinting purely for the joke at Stephens expense... [Oh, brilliant. ed.]
It does amuse me greatly that our very own resident grammar-Nazi, Stephen L. Holland, quite firmly insists that no accents or umlauts must be used in titles or creator names on the Page 45 website. He's right of course, because no one with an Anglicised keyboard ever bothers typing them into search engines thus causing a perilous lack of results if they are used, but I am quite sure it must be distressing his leather-clad interior editor to see deliberately mis-spelt words. Is it wrong, therefore, that I derive more than a little schadenfreude from this situation heh heh?
Unfortunately they have not included in this softcover edition Kieron's mini-essay explaining, almost apologetically, precisely why he's written this work. It's amusingly self-deprecating and is a roundabout way of politely pointing out that whilst yes, it's a no-holds-barred gore-fest of a comic about super-Nazis, he is actually trying to make a few points about what WW2 and all its intrinsic horrors says about us as a species.
So... It is the very dying moments of the war, the Russians are already ploughing through the suburbs of Berlin and Adolf is just waiting for the knock on his door to see if he wants to come out and play. Any German soldiers with any common sense whatsoever are doing their very best to look busy whilst shuffling subtly westwards in the hope of surrendering to the Allies rather than the Reds. Except, a certain research division might just have come up with something that, whilst it might be too late to completely turn the tide, could at least ensure the Allies victory is a pyrrhic one at best. Cue the super-Nazis! Who really do make Captain America look like a boy scout, as they not only have increased strength but other insanely destructive capabilities like energy manipulation powers. Game on!
There is a substantial cast of characters introduced almost immediately, on all sides, including some whose allegiance might not be quite as it seems, which is as it should be, because espionage was an extremely important part of the war effort on all sides. I have a huge interest in WW2 and I enjoyed Kieron's attention to detail: he clearly has done his research. And we can clearly see he is, as promised, not shying away from displaying the very disturbing underbelly of the conflict and its toll upon the civilian populace.