Thursday, August 26, 2010

Battlefields #9

Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Russ Braun

Battlefields has done a great job of satisfying my cravings for a regular dose of war comics, and so I'm sorry to see this second volume finish.

With this issue, Ennis concludes the story arc he began with the first Battlefields mini-series, The Night Witches, which focuses on (now) Captain Anna Kharkova, a female Russian pilot during the Second World War.  With this issue, Anna is put in charge of a group of six new female pilots, who have only barely been trained to fly.  She grounds them, but while she is on a mission, a new political officer arrives at the airbase and sends them out.  Anna and the Colonel (who she has been getting very close to) now must fly out and try to find them.

Ennis shows what things were like for the Soviet army quite effectively.  The most frequent Soviet technique in the war was to try to overwhelm a better trained and equipped force with sheer numbers, the only real asset the Soviets had.  This led to some brutal battles and massive amounts of losses.  The psychological toll of such a thing is shown here.

What I have enjoyed most about the Battlefields series is that Ennis has taken the time to examine some lesser-known aspects of the Second World War, and has enriched my knowledge of that time while providing some very impressive stories.  I sincerely hope there is a Volume 3 in the works.

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