Battlefields: The Tankies #1Battlefields: The Tankies #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Pencils: Carlos Ezquerra
Inks: Hector Ezquerra
Color: Tony Avina
Letters: Simon Bowland
Covers: John Cassaday (75%); Garry Leach (25%)
I would hope that you’ve been following Battlefields already. Garth Ennis has been putting together some champion stories in the World War II milieu for months now, and he displays a true flair for the times. Whether covering the perspective of female Russian pilots or a vengeance-driven nurse, Ennis keeps uncovering new angles to explore for his stories.
This time around, Ennis focuses on a tank crew involved in the post D-Day push. He’s careful to set up some of the difficulties that these crews faced, such as the superior tank technology of the German army. That comes across in sharp relief in a couple of scenes, particularly when you sense the panic of the British troops in their vehicles, under fire and unable to see what’s happening above and around them.
Artist Carlos Ezquerra is no stranger to Ennis and World War II, having collaborated with him previously on the comedic Adventures of the Rifle Brigade. Granted, there are some moments of dark humor here, but the Ezquerras also emphasize the outright horror of the enterprise of war. Decapitations and severed limbs are part of the currency of that trade, and the visuals don’t shy away from it.
In terms of character, the players only get a little exploration in this issue. There’s some great discussion of British accents and dialects, and it’s like a little peek into the thought process that Ennis used in terms of deciding how the characters would “sound”.
Tankies looks to be another quality war story. Dynamite deserves credit for giving Ennis this kind of platform. The rolling series of three-issue-minis, each featuring different artists, really allows the writer to hit a variety of approaches and tones within the larger notion of wartime fiction. There’s not much on the stands that’s quite like it, and it earns points for that.