Posted tagged ‘Dynamite’

Review: Dear Billy

June 6, 2009

Garth Ennis is back!  Dear Billy, the second story from his Battlefields project is his best work in years.  Not that he’s been producing bad comics in the mean time, I don’t think he’s actually capable of that, but with the exception of some of his Punisher issues some of the magic has been missing.  

Which brings me to the epistolary tale of Carrie Sutton, a British nurse working in the Pacific theater during World War II.  When the story begins she is introduced as the lone survivor of an atrocity committed by the Japanese forces.  Over the course of three issues she finds love as well as the chance to get revenge on her tormentors.  

This is a surprisingly brutal story, possibly the bleakest book Ennis has ever produced, which is saying something.  And he is helped enormously by one of his semi-regular collaborators, Peter Snejbjerg’s whose style is a perfect match for the range this story requires.  He is able to capture quiet character moments and vivid scenes of war with equal skill making for a very nice looking book.

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Review: The Night Witches

March 9, 2009

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.