|WORLD OF TANKS No. 1, August 2016|
Publicised as “the first ever comic book based on the Wargaming Battle Universe”, Issue One of “World Of Tanks” certainly lives up to its promise of bringing “all the thrills, tension and armoured conflict” followers of the massively multiplayer online (computer) game would “demand” by quickly pitting the inexperienced “Cromwells and Sherman Fireflies of B Squadron” up against Hauptman Karl Kraft’s seemingly impregnable Panthers of Panzerabteilung 130. Indeed no sooner has Garth Ennis introduced the title’s two main antagonists than Carlos Ezquerra’s breakdowns are littered with explosions, mangled metal and cursing tank men.
Fortunately however, the Holywood-born writer’s narrative for “Roll Out” doesn’t simply consist of meaningless battle sequences designed to help sell “in-game Premium Tank bundles based on the iconic ‘hero’ tanks of the comic book…” But instead marries his “hard-hitting”, somewhat swear-laden storytelling, with plenty of character development too. It’s certainly made abundantly clear that “the man in charge” of the “world’s greatest panzer” is far from your stereotypical Third Reich goon, even if he does wear the notorious Totenkopf symbol on his cap; “The other four (panzers) aren’t in much better shape. They all need complete overhauls. And… Freddy, haven’t we left enough people behind at this point?”
Sadly the same cannot surprisingly be said for the inexperienced Second Lieutenant Simon Linnet, “commanding Number Four troop”, whose disconcertingly cheery disposition and “itching (desire) for a crack at Jerry”, along with that of his incongruently chipper fellow British tank commanders, seems to stem from the worst sort of ‘pip pip’ clichés imaginable. Such trite dialogue definitely brings Wargaming’s Director of Marketing Erik Whiteford’s assurance that their “first priority was ensuring that we told an authentic and historically based tale of combat” under close scrutiny…
Any frustrating concerns by this twenty-two page periodical’s audience as to its script’s hackneyed accuracy though, should have easily been cast aside when one considers the book’s outstanding artwork. Rightfully described by “Dark Horse Comics” as a “legendary illustrator”, Carlos Ezquerra’s pencilling for this comic is as “gritty and… realistic” as any bibliophile would want their “pulse-pounding tank combat” to be, with the Spaniard’s incredible depictions of “seventeen pounders”, “Jabos” and Panthers, all being seemingly imbued with plenty of dynamic energy, movement and danger.
|Script: Garth Ennis, Artist: Carlos Ezquerra, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh|