War Is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle (2008) #4

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Now, at this issue, Ennis has shed the humor, he’s shed the doofus protagonist, he’s even shed enough of the supporting cast one can discern their identities even with Chaykin’s art… War Is Hell is now just a World War I comic. As such, it’s just an intense, constant tragedy.

It makes the issue somewhat difficult to talk about; while things happen, recounting it would be listing the dead. Ennis is still relying a lot on dialogue; instead of giving a history lesson in narration, he’s using the dialogue to inform the protagonist—and the reader—of the events unfolding at the same time in the rest of Europe. For all the flying, the series has never left the airbase; it’s getting claustrophobic.

This issue also might be the first where I don’t have anything particularly nasty to say about Chaykin. He hasn’t gotten better, the book’s gotten more depressing.

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