Review: The Night Witches
Garth Ennis has always been at his best when writing war comics, a genre he’s spent some time away from recently (with the exception of an occasional flashback in the Punisher). Fortunately he’s returned with a major project, a series of mini-series entitled Battlefields. In scope this is very similar to his two runs of War Stories that were published by Vertigo a few years back (The D-Day Dodgers from that ranks in my top ten for best single issues), and actually he’s using many of the same artists this time out.
The first of the Battlefields books is the Night Witches. The story focuses on the Russian front in WWII where the German infantry is on a collision course with Russia’s newly formed female bomber squadron (who give the book it’s title). Ennis does a decent job of showing both sides of the conflict, although the Germans only have a single sympathetic character. It’s not his best work, but Ennis does not now how to tell a bad story and this one is no exception.
The art on this comes from Russ Braun, who I’m only familiar with as the back up artist on Jack of Fables. He does a wonderful job here, reminding me a lot of Darrick Robertson’s work at times. From what’s on display here he deserves to have a much higher profile.
So, all in all the Night Witches is a welcome return to form for Ennis and it’s definitely whetted my appetite for the next Battlefields series.