Tuesday, 13 December 2016

World Of Tanks #2 - Dark Horse Comics

WORLD OF TANKS No. 2, November 2016
Selling a somewhat demoralising 6,115 copies in November 2016, a figure slightly reduced by “Diamond Comic Distributors” due to its shipment’s returnability, Issue Two of “World of Tanks” arguably must have come as something of an overly-wordy disappointment to fans of the massively multiplayer online (computer) game upon which the series is based. Certainly, Garth Ennis’ script for “Roll Out” lacks any sort of actual action throughout the majority of this twenty-two page periodical; an especially strange situation considering the Northern Irish-born America’s reputation for extreme violence, and the fact the title’s premise is built upon the armoured conflict in Normandy during the Second World War.

Admittedly, the Holywood-born author’s narrative starts off energetically enough, as Simon Linnet’s isolated crew come face-to-face with a German Flak position, and battered British tankers Nobby and Whitey give their lives fighting off a squadron of Panthers. But as soon as ‘Boilermaker’ is destroyed by half a dozen well-aimed shells and Hauptman Kraft finds the time for a swift smoke of a cigarette, all sense of excitement is lost, and instead replaced with a series of dreary conversational pieces concerning British tank engineering, the calling in of “a stonk” after “one of our shufti-kites spotted the fireworks", Karl’s unpopular assignment to support a Waffen S.S. unit, and Corporal Budd’s realisation that ‘Snakebite’ is a training tank…

Such long-winded, supposedly character-driven scenes clearly have an important place in helping to move the Eisner Award-winner’s plot along, particularly when they help clarify precisely why a supposedly experienced tank driver like Trevor inexplicably loses control of a vehicle during a fire-fight and “drives them right off the battlefield!” Yet such sedentary interruptions surely should be interspersed in between the action, and not used to seemingly pad out the rest of the publication just so it can end on something of a dilemma…

Fortuitously, despite being populated by some disconcertingly large and cumbersome-sized speech bubbles, all these dialogue-rich breakdowns are still somehow mesmerizingly pencilled by “legendary illustrator” Carlos Ezquerra. Emotionally-charged and visually wearing their hearts on their sleeves, the Spanish artist’s figures all somehow take on a personality of their own, and help make even the souless Third Reich puppet Munchen's stilted discourse at being the ‘new’ senior battalion commander something of a compelling read.
Script: Garth Ennis, Artist: Carlos Ezquerra, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh


  1. I've read and enjoyed quite a few of Garth Ennis's and Carlos Ezquerra's WW2 tales but none of the "World of Tanks" comics. Perhaps this is just the calm before the storm. I'm undecided about getting any of this series so I'll be reading your reviews with interest.

    1. Personally Bryan, I still think this series will be worth buying as a TPB simply for Carlos Ezquerra's WW2 artwork :-) However, Ennis doesn't seem to be quite on form with the pacing of this particular issue. I'm certainly going to be getting this title as long as Ezquerra is the artist, so hopefully we'll know more in a few issues time...