Comics legend Garth Ennis (The Punisher, Preacher) once again teams with top Judge Dredd artist PJ Holden to present some new action-packed stories Inspired by the hugely popular online game World of Tanks. A Russian tank crew begins an unwelcome mission in a very unwelcome Matilda tank, and soon find themselves at odds with both the war and each other. Meanwhile, two German tankers find themselves deep behind enemy lines—cut off, on their own, and without their beloved Panzer IV.
Garth Ennis excels in many scenarios when it comes to comics. But if his work on Dan Dare, The Punisher and Fury Max are anything to go by, the war genre is definitely where he is most at home. Anyone who has read Ennis’ previous war stories will know he never skimps on details and – having grown up on British War comics in his youth – is well versed in military history.
Given that the original game is an online battle game with little in the way of plot, Ennis has carte blanche when it comes to storytelling. Using the Soviet and German tanks as a starting point, he creates a compelling story with some interesting character usage. Neither the Germans or Soviets come across as more likeable than the other and Ennis never really tries to make you root for one side over the other. But they become far more relatable in their plight as a result and it’s far easier at that point to focus on the characters as opposed to the sides they are fighting for. Ennis also doesn’t lose focus that the tanks are the main subject matter as their use and functionality are key to the story progression. The Russian crew in particular face several problems brought on by equipment that isn’t at the standard needed.
PJ Holden has plenty of experience with action comics and depicting war, so he is a natural fit on the art front. The details on all the tanks (both inside and outside) is of a very high standard and the art in general has a gritty/murky quality – aided by Michael Atiyeh’s superb colour work – which is perfectly suited for Ennis’ style of storytelling.
World of Tanks players will find plenty to enjoy and those who enjoy war comics will definitely want to pick this up with Ennis once again demonstrating his mastery of the genre.
9781506707525 – P/B – £14.50