Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The double-edged sword of loyalty.


A very old memory: switching channels (by knob!) on the TV as a young child, and coming across a war movie--presumably WWII, but the film stock looked more "modern." (That would be to say, mid-seventies.) It was a tank battle, that seemed to be a lot more like tanks driving around. Maybe everyone was out of shells? Still no idea what that movie was. But I remember thinking those tanks should be doing more there, that they should be unstoppable. And they aren't. Not in the slightest. From 2001, War Story: Johann's Tiger, written by Garth Ennis, pencils by Chris Weston, inks by Gary Erskine. (Two Chris Weston issues this week!)

Near the end of the war, German tank commander Johann Kleist will do whatever it takes to save his crew, but the Russians are coming in waves. Johann decides they will find Americans and surrender (the Russians would almost certainly kill them, or throw into a gulag to die slowly) but not him: the memories of his atrocities are too much, and he plans on getting himself killed as soon as his crew is safe. After an encounter with German "fepos," field police, the crew is nearly hung for desertion, but Johann saves them. Leading the crew to make a plan themselves: later, when surrounded by Russian tanks, they toss Johann out, saving him as they die. Left for dead, Johann lurches through the woods, looking to die, and instead finds Americans, who take him prisoner; dooming him to live with himself.

Man, how did I miss these when they came out? Have to keep an eye out for the other three now...


3 comments:

SallyP said...

Garth Ennis is simply the bee's knees when it comes to War comics.

Dale Bagwell said...

No kidding. Love that Weston art though. I'll always love his work on The Twelve. Ennis really does have a knack for writing period war stories, especially the WW2 ones. No surprise since he's such a history buff when it comes to real historical wars.

This looks especially solid though. How did DC miss the boat on him relaunching all those old War books from back in the day?

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