I wonder how this issue would be with a decent artist. Not even a good artist, just a decent one. One who clearly doesn’t have the time he needs to get the issue complete. Because Aira’s art is occasionally almost okay. He could be doing a better job. When it’s really bad, it’s because he’s rushing.
Regardless, it still really hurts the comic. Ennis is trying a different thing with this seventies-set story. He’s trying a different style of storytelling, he’s trying a different character relationship; he’s also going all out on the battle stuff. Aira can’t just not those elements competently, he doesn’t bring anything to the art.
There are also some Ennis problems with this issue. This War Stories arc features soldiers who spout lots of exposition, meaning they have to be very well informed. There’s no groundwork for that situation.
Ennis does keep his style fresh.