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Review: The Tankies

The Tankies

As a fan of war movies, even before I joined the military, it is quite confounding how much movies get it right. One of the best examples of recent times was the much-acclaimed Greyhound, which had me “triggered” in some sequences. The difference between what I saw before I joined and what I saw after I joined is, was astounding. For some of those movies, I re-watched and felt like an internet troll pointing out the inaccuracies in the different depictions.

One of the movies that felt so real, even though I was not in that conflict, was Saving Private Ryan. The movie depicted how real it is when you are in combat, as every step may be your last. This included the final standoff between our main cast and a tank. In Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra’s pulse-pounding The Tankies, we see the drama from within that ‘steal beast”, as we find out how it is for a tank crew who goes from one battle to the next.

In the opening story of The Tankies, we’re taken to World War II shortly right before the Battle of Normandy, where the British and Canadians were making their way through German territory, as we find the British Army’s Royal Tank Regiment as one of the tank units, Baker Troop, a fairly nascent group of soldiers, who suddenly loses its commanding officer, Archie Wingate to enemy fire and gets them a new CO, Sergeant Stiles. They would go to survive a fight with a German Tank unit, eventually catching up with the rest of the regiment, as they come soon to understand war,  is an endurance race.

In the second chapter, “Yeomen of England”, Baker Troop meets the Northshires Company, which has been mostly decimated by the Germans, where both survive a German infantry standoff but not without a crucial casualty.

In the third chapter,” To The Greenfields and Beyond”, Baker’s troop faces off against a German Tiger Tank, destroying their cannon, leaving its unit to flee and for the Northshires to capture a German infantry.

In the fourth chapter, “Welcome to the Fatherland”, we are then transported to West Germany February 1945, and Baker troop stumbles upon an American Sherman Tank Unit who has just been annihilated by a German Panther tank infantry, as Sergeant Stiles soon realizes it’s the same unit they have been tracking since he got assigned to Baker Troop.

In the fifth chapter,” Soldiers of the Reich”, Baker’s troop faces off a German regiment and finds out firsthand just how hardened German soldiers really are.

In the sixth chapter, ”Kingdom Of Dust”, we finally see the toll the war has taken on the civilians left defenseless,  and a final faceoff with the German Panther tank infantry leaves Baker Troop victorious but wounded.

In the seventh chapter, ”Now Thrive The Armourers”, we catch back up with Baker Troop, now the 29th Brigade, as they are now in the Korean War, as they happen to go on night patrol and find a whole Chinese platoon, which they take down with suppression fire, while aided by a squadron of Royal Commandos.

In the eighth chapter, “God for Harry, England, and Saint George”,  we find the guys undermanned and running low on supplies, as they face off against thousands of Chinese soldiers, as their own saving grace is USAF bombers dropping Napalm.

By book’s end, the final chapter, “Death Ride”, where a final face-off takes place in the Valley Of the Dragon, between Allied forces and China, as the 29th Regiment forges forward victoriously one final time.

Overall, The Tankies is a book that reminds me of one of my favorite war movies A Bridge Too Far. It earnestly gives an affecting portrait of military combat, unvarnished and unfiltered. The story by Ennis is masterful, moving, and pulse-pounding. The art by the great Carlos Ezquerra belongs in a museum and the reader gets a treat from the publisher in this collected edition, giving us his sketchbook for this wonderful story. Altogether, The Tankies is a comic collection that delivers a great story and reminds readers of the sacrifice so many veterans have given for a peaceful way of life.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Ink: Hector Ezquerra Color: Tony Avina Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: Amazon – TFAW – Bookshop

Review: Ginseng Roots #4

Ginseng Roots #4

As a native of New York, I have seen the city change over the years. My neighborhood changed demographics within waves of five to ten years. It went from being influential to the middle class. Then right after I joined the military, it went through one more transformation, gentrification.

Neighbors whom I knew for a lifetime, lost their homes. It wasn’t lost on me that this was part of the larger machine. As it is with the “Haves and Have Nots”, those with money have choices. Those who don’t are at somebody’s will.  In the years since then, it has increasingly more prevalent and pervasive, with no urgency for equity. In Ginseng Roots #4, Craig Thompson gives readers another dimension to gentrification, as he illuminates the reader on how it affects rural communities.

We find the Thompson siblings visiting an old friend, Rollie, whom they work for in the summers they did not work the Ginseng gardens. There they did even more grueling work, rock picking. The reader soon finds out just how crucial the work was to pruning ginseng, and how it helped the different Ginseng farmers. The reader eventually finds out there are a plethora of different types of ginseng roots, and all of them are used differently, even inspiring some childhood friends to make Ginseng beer. By the issue’s end, Thompson tethers his childhood experiences to the concept that ginseng is more than root to him and the people he loves.

Overall, Ginseng Roots #4 is a fascinating issue that illuminates while it educates. The story by Craig Thompson is authentic. The art by Thompson is wonderful. Altogether, Thompson gives the reader an issue that focuses on something that matters.

Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: Uncivilized Books

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 05/15/2021

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Children of the Atom #3 (Marvel)– Vita Ayala, Paco Medina, and David Curiel take a break from the superhero fights and cameos in Children of the Atom #3 to help readers get to know the characters underneath the costume. They predominantly focus on Carmen aka Gimmick in this issue, and her struggles with finding value in what she does rather than who she is as a person. This extends from her cosplay tutorials and streams to helping her family with chores and childcare as well as her role on the team. Medina draws a lot of wistful glances between her and Buddy aka Cyclops-Lass and uses a fairly pedestrian escape from a spaceship to build that romantic tension between them. Carmen’s arc is definitely the best part of Children of the Atom #3, and I love the emotionally resonant way that Ayala writes her. However, Children of the Atom #3 also sets up the story’s villain and ties this into the very relatable event of using someone for what they can get you, or in this case Cole’s access to Krakoa. After a high-wire, yet uneven beginning, Children of the Atom is finding its footing even with the art shift from Bernard Chang to Paco Medina. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

Joker #3 (DC)– Joker #3 is like a more psychologically compelling and less focused on shock value Killing Joke meets David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Street and Anthony Bourdain’s oeuvre with just a dash of the Batgirls comic I wish was an ongoing. James Tynion, Guillem March, and Arif Prianto are firing on all cylinders as they show how deep Joker has gotten into Jim Gordon’s psyche. This is tempered with salt of the Earth narration of Gordon’s detective techniques and gift for conversation and empathy that turns totally chaotic by the last few pages with the book switching to yet another genre. March’s art is a little Neal Adams and Kelley Jones by way of Brian Bolland, but his ability to carry the main plot while Tynion focuses on character development is all him. They are doing special work in Joker, which has escalated from a focused character study to gonzo action by the end. And the Punchline backup from James Tynion, Sam Johns, and Mirka Andolfo is the best it’s ever been as Andolfo gets to draw a physical confrontation between Punchline and Orca and dig into the messed up mind of her old roommate Aiden. Poor Harper Row, and apologies to all you true crime fans out there! Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

The Silver Coin #2 (Image)– This genre-bending, writer switching anthology turns its sights to the slasher genre with Kelly Thompson and Michael Walsh telling the story of a young girl who goes off to summer camp, gets bullied, and finds revenge with the help of the titular silver coin. The Silver Coin #2 is derivative of classic horror films, and it knows it with its retro VHS filter opener as Fiona watching a video nasty might actually come in handy in summer camp. Walsh hits all his paces as a storyteller from the sickly, wholesome palette he uses when Fiona arrives at camp to the various and sundry ways she gets her revenge. He and Thompson have a lot of fun turning the victim into the baddie, and The Silver Coin #2 is a very cathartic and nostalgic read in the end. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

X-Corp #1 (Marvel)– I didn’t hate X-Corp #1, and Tini Howard creates some good chemistry between board members Monet, Angel, Multiple Man, and Trinary, but this book’s initial public offering (I had to!) is a little tepid. Some of that comes from the Alberto Foche’s visuals, which are middle of the road Marvel house style with Sunny Gho adding some flourishes with the color palette. They definitely pale in comparison to David Aja’s bleeding edge cover and don’t fit the tone of a book about disrupting tech sectors, intense business negotiations, and yes, flashy gadgets and abilities. Howard’s script isn’t that bad, especially her dialogue, but the first issue’s climax breaks a rule of suspense as she treats readers (who have more knowledge) with the in-universe characters who have less. With Trinary “selling out” and going corporate, Monet suppressing her rage during constant meetings, Angel trying to be a good rich guy, and Multiple Man as the wild card, X-Corp has potential and fills a gap in the X-line. However, this issue is more like smelling something yummy at another diner’s table than having your own meal. Overall: 6.0 Verdict: Pass


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Ginseng Roots #3

Ginseng Roots #3

As a fan of Star Wars, what I loved about the books before Lucasfilm Story Group was that they filled those gaps. Many of the books that came between the original trilogy and when they were bought by Disney were monumental. As it brought to life those characters in ways not even the current canon has satisfied. My favorite being Heir To The Empire.

What I also loved were the comics that came from Dark Horse. One of the immensely heralded comics was Dawn Of The Jedi. As it introduced to first ones to be called as such, and how their pillars of faith came into being. As the book answered all those questions, us Star Wars nerds wanted to know.  In Ginseng Roots #3, Craig Thompson does the same, answering those questions about why the world has come to depend on this particular root for all its needs.

Thompson dives into the metaphysical origins of the root, introducing us to the # Sovereigns, in Chinese mythology, relaying the legend of Shennong and how the Father Of Medicine discovered its purpose. We also find out about “Ginseng Hunters:, who would  scavenge forests for this “God root”, as it enhance one’s own “Qi ( life force) . We also find Craig back home, enjoying all its comforts, as we get a front row seat at the International Ginseng Festival.  By issue’s end, Thompson gives us a concise history of the root and even gives a mini solo adventure, with his brother, Phil.

Overall, Ginseng Roots #3 is a special issue that educates the reader. The story by Thompson is genuine. The art by Thompson is outstanding. Altogether, Thompson gives the reader, a complete rundown of why this root is important.

Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Acursian Chapter 22

Acursian Chapter 22

What I love about alternate universe stories is how they show just how crazy things can get. If a protagonist makes a different choice, we’re taken down a different road. That is why most of us are fascinated with these alternate worlds. It’s a concept so pervasive that when you mention “Mirror Universe”, individuals who have never seen an episode will know you’re talking about Star Trek and the concept.

This makes sense why Star Trek Discovery, has utilized it within its first 2 seasons. It gives us a different look and version of a character we have grown accustomed to. It presents possibilities which intrigues the most.  In Acursian Chapter 22, we find Rory discovering the life he could have had.

We open up on Charlie and Corra arriving at the Isle of Shadows, where Nate is tending to Corra’s sisters, who are being affected by the loss of the necklace.  This pushes the three to take drastic measures so that Charlie can get Ceillech’s orb and Corra can save her sisters. We also find Bregon and Rory at Charlie’s ancestral home. Where a skirmish breaks out between the two and Rory grabs the staff. By the issue’s end, Rory uses the staff to get back to Charlie .

Overall, Acursian Chapter 22 is a great entry that gives the protagonist a bit of humanity. The story by the creative team is satisfying. The art by the creative team is pleasing to the eye. Altogether, the story spurs the imagination.

Story: John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis Art: Beni Lobel and  Tommy Lee Edwards
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Sleeping Beauties Vol. 1

Sleeping Beauties Vol. 1

Margaret Atwood is one of those writers who can both spellbind you and terrify you at the very same time. Her prose feels so voyeuristic, you feel kind of guilty even reading one of her powerful tomes. For the world seems to mostly have found The Handmaid’s Tale, through the TV series, it only sees a sliver of her genius. The connecting theme amongst her books, among many, is the breadth of a woman’s agency in the world.

As she has written books in several different timelines, evoking a woman’s struggles much in the way Philippa Gregory does in her books. It is her narrative that compels you to look but cringe in ways you could never imagine. The reality is, even though she writes fiction, does not mean, she doesn’t tell truth. In Stephen King and Owen King’s graphic novel adaptation of their hit book, Sleeping Beauties, we get a grim dystopia, much what Atwood, writes where one woman becomes an outlier.

We are taken to a future where a malady has made a lot of the female population to fall asleep because of a disease called Aurora, except one, who says her name is Eve and who lives in the woods by a town called Dooling. As she awakens and wanders, we find the town has a penitentiary and has its own share of troubles, as she happens upon a house, and kills all the men who live there. Meanwhile, even more cases start popping all across the world, the most prominent in Australia, as the town starts getting flooded by everything natural including insects and animals become suddenly supernatural, a seeming harbinger of worst things to come. The sheriff eventually arrest Eve and brings her to the prison, where things on the outside only get worse, riots escalate, and increasingly, women all around the world including Dooling unconsciously turn into homicidal killers, attacking men everywhere. Eventually, militias rise up, blowtorching any trace of Aurora, even if it means lives. BY volume’s end, Eve reveals she is immune and can end all the chaos while some desperate locals look to end things by their own means.

Overall, Sleeping Beauties Vol. 1 is an impressive story that has echoes of the panic that has occurred during our pandemic but reveals a much grimmer future. The story by the Kings is truly rapturous. The art of the creative team is awe-inspiring. The adaptation is some of the best work I have seen in a long time. Altogether, this adaptation of this modern classic is a game-changer.

Story: Stephen King and Owen King Adaptation: Rio Youers
Art: Alison Sampson, Annie Wu,  Jenn Woodall Christa Miesner, Valerie Lopez, and Triona Tree  Farrell
Story: 10 Adaptation: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshop

Review: Illegal Cargo

No one is illegal. Augusto Mora explores immigration in his haunting graphic novel Illegal Cargo from Black Panel Press. Out in comic shops in July 2021, this graphic novel explores the topic through a story of a father leaving everything behind to find his daughter.

Story: Augusto Mora
Art: Augusto Mora

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
comiXology
Kindle
Black Panel Press


Black Panel Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Princess Who Saved Herself

Gloria Cheng Epstein Takahara de la Garza Champion likes to rock out with her pet snake but the witch next door doesn’t like Gloria’s guitar playing.

Story: Greg Pak
Based on the song by: Jonathan Coulton
Art: Takeshi Miyazawa
Color: Jessica Kholinne
Letterer: Simon Bowland

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

comiXology
Amazon
Kindle
Bookshop
Zeus Comics
TFAW


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Project Patron #2

Patron is the world’s greatest superhero. He died in battle and returned! Or did he? With the shocking ending to the first issue, Project: Patron #2 focuses on the impact on the team.

Story: Steve Orlando
Art: Patrick Piazzalunga
Color: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

comiXology
Kindle
Zeus Comics
TFAW


AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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