Friday, 17 February 2017

World Of Tanks #5 - Dark Horse Comics

WORLD OF TANKS No. 5, February 2017
Although “ComicWow!”, the media marketing entity dedicated to the comic and gaming industry, were probably correct in their declaration that “Garth Ennis is a legend and an institution among comic writers”, it is extremely doubtful that the Northern Irish-born American’s narrative for Issue Five of “World Of Tanks” played any part in just such a statement. In fact, considering that this twenty-two page periodical’s script gets the title’s leading characters so horribly wrong, such as portraying British Lieutenant Simon Linnet as a cold-blooded killer seemingly capable of murdering unarmed German prisoners simply because they wear skulls on their lapels, it’s hard to reconcile that the Eisner Award-winner had anything to do with the book’s writing at all. It’s certainly tough to recognise Snakebite’s normally calm and compassionate commander as the gun-toting madman who seems determined to mow down “defenceless” soldiers simply because he’s suddenly “had a bellyful of these Nazi savages” and decided to “see how you like it --”

Disappointingly, so disconcerting an alteration in temperament is not just restricted to C Squadron’s new “2 I/C” either, as “Herr Hauptman” and his Panther tank crew also undergo a surprising change in their attitude to the Fuhrer's war, seemingly just because it illogically leads to the title’ two competing antagonists confronting one another at La Belle Bocage. This incredibly unbelievable contrivance really does spoil the publication's realistic ambience, and makes the Wehrmacht officer's decision to conduct repairs on his smoking armoured vehicle in the very village which the British “artillery destroyed on Thursday” an extremely implausible one; especially when he could have tried to follow a “clockwork bootboy” Unterscharfuhrer back to Berlin earlier in the comic. 

Perhaps this “explosive” final edition’s biggest disappointment however, is P.J. Holden’s incredibly inconsistent breakdowns. Admittedly, the “Judge Dredd” artist can pencil an impressive looking tank, and captures Linton’s narrow-eyed, murderous expression when staring down the barrel of a Sten gun perfectly. But his appalling renderings of Karl Kraft’s battered and bruised face, as well as those of all this comic’s supporting cast, really leave a lot to be desired, and can’t help but raise a concern as to just how rushed the penciller was in order to meet this mini-series’ deadline.
Script: Garth Ennis, Artist: P.J. Holden, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh

2 comments:

  1. I really wanted to like this series, Simon, but your (honest) reviews are increasingly turning me away from buying the TPB. I think I'll end up passing on this series.

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    1. Sadly Bryan, this started so very well, and despite the odd change in artist mid-way through I was still eventually content to follow it through to the end. I wish I hadn't now, and should have stuck to just owning #1 & #2 for the artwork. It'll be interesting to see whether there'll be any more mini-series for "World Of Tanks"...

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