Friday, July 09, 2010

Somewhat Socialist Realist Uniformed Woman,

Battlefields: Motherland #1 of 3, by Garth Ennis and Russ Braun

Garth Ennis is a bit of a patchy writer. At worst, his output displays a nasty and distasteful edge that anyone of taste and discernment avoids. His work also sails close to the rocks of creepy homophobia. For all that, he is a man of actual talent. In the war comics he has been writing over the last while he seems to have really found a new voice, producing material that escapes from the blind alleys into which his failings sometimes lead him.

Anyway, this one is set on the Russian Front* in the Second World War, just before the Battle of Kursk, and is about a woman fighter pilot, of whom there were surprisingly many in the Soviet air force. In some respects we are in familiar war story territory – she plays by her own rules, lacks the necessary respect for the NKVD political officer, etc. – but it still has a certain pizzazz. There are also some great air combat scenes, and people like me who love accurately drawn pictures of various bits of military hardware (Focke-Wulf 190s! Stuka tankbusters! Yakovlevs!) will find much to enjoy here.

I am hoping that subsequent issues feature the air war aspect of the Armageddon that was Kursk – total thrillpower.

*you can tell this from random letters in the comic's title being backwards.

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