Thursday, October 30, 2008

Battlefields: The Night Witches #1 (of 3)

Garth Ennis & Russ Braun
You don't hear too many war stories featuring female protagonists, which is part of the reason I was drawn to this three issue mini-series. Garth Ennis, known for his gritty storytelling, brings a harrowing story of war in the form of legendary female bomber pilots who flew over the Eastern front in flimsy wooden planes in 1942. Dubbed "The Night Witches" because of their gender, the wooden planes they flew (like brooms), and how they attacked in the dead of night, these women are all but massacred in the first issue of the series, after their initial mission to bomb a bridge. But ideas are brewing in the womens' heads for what strategies they can use on their night flights to be more successful. This book is violent and gory, like any good truthful war story, and beautifully drawn by Russ Braun. Garth Ennis paints a noble picture of these women, who are true soldiers despite the lukewarm welcome they receive when they arrive at Vostok Field. Despite the harsh tone of the book, I was still able to have fun as the characters' personalities came out, and interacted with each other via sly comments or infectious optimism. This is a fantastic beginning for what I'm sure is going to be a pretty damn good series.

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