Thursday, 5 January 2017

World Of Tanks #3 - Dark Horse Comics

WORLD OF TANKS No. 3, December 2016
It’s probably fair to say that quite a few of this “authentic and historically based” book’s 5,645 followers felt acutely misled by “Dark Horse Comics” and their advertising for Issue Three of “World Of Tanks”. For whilst the Oregon-based publisher heavily promoted the fact that this mini-series, “inspired by Wargaming’s massively multiplayer online game”, was the collective work of Garth Ennis and “legendary” artist Carlos Ezquerra, this third instalment of the title’s story-arc set amidst “the war-torn countryside of Normandy” is actually drawn by “Infurious Comics” founder P.J. Holden, rather than the Spanish Inkpot Achievement Award-winner.

Such a dramatic change in look, and therefore feel, to this twenty-two page periodical arguably quite badly damages the impact of its all so serious “gritty” narrative, and dishearteningly, even goes so far as to lessen the impact of a particularly harrowing scene where Hauptman Kraft discovers the Canadian corpses of some unarmed prisoners mercilessly murdered by the ‘children’ of the twelfth S.S. Panzer Hitlerjugend, simply because of how different the German tank commander now looks. Indeed, the two illustrators’ drawing styles are so remarkably dissimilar that it can take the entirety of the comic before its abundantly clear just which of the British senior officers is actually Simon Linnet, or a repeated reading of a nocturnal camp-fire scene in order to ascertain the individual members of Snakebite’s identically dressed crew; “Budd, your appetite for misery never fails to amaze me!”

Perhaps this book’s greatest disappointment however, is that beneath the Northern Irishman’s admittedly competent, yet somewhat cartoony and noticeably inconsistent breakdowns, Ennis has actually penned an incredibly enthralling plot which provides both some wonderful, light-hearted humour in the guise of Kraft being thumped by the giant “bloke running a kampfgruppe full of pretty little blond boys”, and chillingly cold inhumanity, as the facially bruised Hauptman discovers the aforementioned uncovered grave full of brutally slain Allied soldiers. The Holywood-born writer even manages to provide the straight-laced Linnet with a moment of self-doubt and loathing, when the well-educated Englishman realises his men have captured, caught and eaten “a little [French] blind girl’s pet” rooster called Bernard.
Script: Garth Ennis, Artist: P.J. Holden, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh


  1. Changing the main artist during a story is never a good thing. I find that almost invariably the new artist is not as good as the one he replaced. Yes, I'd be disappointed, too. Oddly enough, one of the few times I can remember when the reverse was true also involved Carlos Ezquerra. When 2000AD decided to reinvent the Strontium Dog character, Durham Red, Mark Harrison was brought in to replace Carlos and his work was a vast improvement. So much so that Durham Red became my all time favourite character from 2000AD!

    1. Cheers Bryan. To be fair Holden is actually a good artist. But I'd never have bought this 5-issue mini-series if I'd known Carlos wasn't going to draw it all? I don't understand why you'd swap artists half-way through a mini-series - very odd imho. Big fan of "Durham Red", but don't like Harrison's work on the series. I did like his "Flesh" stuff though. Different strokes for different folks clearly :-)