blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

War Stories (2014) #17


It’s another surprisingly bland issue. I say surprising because Ennis does have some enthusiasm for the subject–English channel gunboats in World War II–but only because it’s clear he’s put in his research. This issue doesn’t even have expository explanations. Well, maybe during the ill-advised and very awkward sex scene. I’m not sure if it’s Ennis’s fault or Aira’s fault, but the reader’s supposed to be suspicious of the woman (who’s seducing the good lieutenant of the gunboat) and one of them feels the need to foreshadow every panel. Then cutting to a scene where there’s more foreshadowing.

It’s not all Naval romance, there’s also the gunboat sequences. One battle sequence, which Aira again handles way too static. It might be the digital coloring, but there’s no intensity to the battle. When there’s a big reveal this issue, I had to go back and track it again visually. It’s just too boring.

The other gunboat sequence is just the lieutenant and his sidekick being jerks to some flier they rescue. Ennis doesn’t even pretend to be interested in the characters. They’re stock players, they’re caricatures.

Ennis can’t even muster enthusiasm for the lieutenant going after a German nemesis. It plods along. I’m not expecting Ennis to finish it well.

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