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War Stories vol 1

War Stories vol 1 War Stories vol 1

War Stories vol 1 back

Garth Ennis & Chris Weston, Gary Erskine, John Higgins, Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd


Page 45 Review by Stephen

From the writer of PREACHER, BATTLEFIELDS (more war) and THE BOYS etc.

Four personal and powerful stories set in the thick of World War II, each with an edge of injustice to it.

They're fiction, of course, but delivered with an authority derived from historical fact. Plus it's always useful to be reminded that in any war vast numbers of unfeasibly brave men are commanded to perform the impossible, and often succeed.

It's also useful to be reminded that you enemy combatants are human beings too - individuals with lives, families and friends of their own; aspirations for after the war and many a moral quandary during it.

It's 'Nightingale' which I normally make a song and dance about, with V FOR VENDETTA's David Lloyd's raw, haunting art providing chilling company for a tale told by a dead man, which verges on the poetic. It's set initially in the Arctic where a supply convoy is being provided with limited protection by escort vessels including H.M.S. Nightingale. Planes and u-boats they could attempt to hold off, but German battleships like the Tripitz were another matter entirely. In those difficult waters harsh decisions were made; decisions which proved almost impossible to live with for those who did not make them.

The one I chose to read again for the review was the first, and Garth goes for a refreshingly unusual perspective: that of a German Tiger tank commander leading his four men in retreat from Russia via the Ukraine and Poland all the way back to the German forests in order to surrender to the Americans. Besieged by Russian armour divisions pressing ahead with their advance, they also have to avoid the German field police who will hang them for desertion if caught. To Johann, his comrades' safety is paramount - they've been through hell together. He only wants to live long enough to ensure their survival. As far as Johann is concerned - for the acts he has inflicted on others - he has forfeited the right to live.

There's some fine storytelling involved here, and you know that expression being thrown around a lot, "These Ain't Your Dad's Comics"…? Well, these certainly aren't your Dad's War Comics.

For those, please see CHARLEY'S WAR, all of which is now in print.