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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: The Tankies

Three stories of war from the perspective of those who ride in tanks. The Tankies collects three stories originally published by Dynamite and now released by Dead Reckoning.

Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Ink: Hector Ezquerra
Color: Tony Aviña
Letterer: Simon Bowland

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
Bookshop
TFAW


Dead Reckoning provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: The Tankies

The Tankies

Within The Tankies are three tales: in “The Tankies”, we meet Corporate Stiles, a hardened vet who is ready to bring his men against the German Tiger tank, a machine feared to be unrivaled. Then in “The Firefly & His Majesty”, Stiles and co. lead a Firefly, which is a Sherman tank, up against the German’s newest weapon, the King Tiger. Lastly, “The Green Fields Beyond” sees Stiles and company’s involvement in Korea against the Communists.

These stories were originally published under the “Battlefields” title that Dynamite had going with Garth Ennis from back in 2011. Last year saw Dead Reckoning release The Stringbags, which was another WW2 Ennis book. That said, it’s nice to see these stories see light again and to also be dedicated to longtime Ennis collaborator and Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra, who passed away in 2018. Like any Ennis-written War Story, they certainly aren’t for the squeamish and the language is something totally beyond colorful. I do feel that a good Ennis war story is as good as it gets.

Reading through The Tankies, you can see that the research has been done to be accurate to the times portrayed. You’ll almost feel like an expert in tanks after reading this. There’s a great afterword by Ennis at the end that really encompasses the amount of research done for such a book as The Tankies. And to finish the book, a section of sketches from Carlos Ezquerra.

I’ve always appreciated the artwork of Carlos Ezquerra. He worked with Ennis on many stories, from Kev at Wildstorm to World Of Tanks at Dark Horse, just to name a few. With The Tankies, I feel like he took this job seriously and put forth a great amount of detail in everything from weapons of destruction to the people using them. His character expressions are great. I have a real appreciation of the art within these pages.

I enjoyed reading The Tankies very much. Honestly, I buy every war story Ennis works on when I know about them. While some might not enjoy the destructive power of war or the violence man casts upon themselves with it, I always appreciate the history lesson of it and the little things that Ennis and Ezquerra inject into it. If you enjoy war or if you like what Garth Ennis brings to comics, The Tankies is just the book for you. It’s not as funny as Ennis and Ezquerra’s work in The Adventures Of The Rifle Brigade but certainly feels similar in tone to World Of Tanks.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Ink: Hector Ezquerra Color: Tony Avina Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 10 Art: 8.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dead Reckoning provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: AmazonTFAWBookshop

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about what you’re getting, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – Carlos Ezquerra, the visionary artist who co-created Judge Dredd, dies at 70 – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

CBLDF – One of the Most Influential Banned Comics of All Time : Barefoot Gen – Definitely a series worth checking out.

Kotaku – Spider-Man’s Text Message Scene Is Perfect – Who’s playing the game?

CBR – Image Comics’ Ice Cream Man Gets TV Series Adaptation from Universal – Is there any comic not being adapted?

 

Reviews

Newsarama – Backstagers & the Ghost Light

Talking Comics – Bone Parish #3

Newsarama – Doomsday Clock #7

World of Tanks: Roll Out! Comic Book and Premium Tank Now Available

Wargaming and Dark Horse Comics are proud to announce that the highly-anticipated first issue of the World of Tanks: Roll Out comic book series is now available in stores and across Dark Horse Digital. World of Tanks: Roll Out marks the first-ever comic book inspired by Wargaming’s popular World of Tanks online game, and features a hard-hitting war story by Garth Ennis skillfully illustrated of Carlos Ezquerra.

In addition, with the release of World of Tanks: Roll Out, the World of Tanks Premium shops for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 4 will be offering limited-edition bundles featuring the “Snakebite” “hero” tank ripped straight from the comic. “Snakebite” is a signature tier VI British Cromwell light tank that also includes special Snakebite Crew Skill to enhance the tank’s accuracy.

World of Tanks: Roll Out comic issue #1 is available, in English, digitally at Dark Horse Digital and in comic book stores in North America, Australia, Western and Eastern Europe, and will be followed by four more issues of intense tank combat.

World of Tanks Roll Out!

Preview: World of Tanks: Roll Out #1

World of Tanks #1

Garth Ennis (W), Carlos Ezquerra (A), Michael Atiyeh (C), Isaac Hannaford (Cover)

Garth Ennis (Preacher, Hellblazer) joins Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog) to create a tense war story inspired by the massively popular (over 110 million players!) online game World of Tanks. An untested British crew inadvertently commands an unconventional Cromwell tank into France while hunted by a hardened German panzer unit.

World of Tanks #1 1 World of Tanks #1 2

Wargaming and Dark Horse Comics Form Alliance to Publish World of Tanks: Roll Out! Comic Book

Wargaming, the award-winning online game developer and publisher of the globally successful World of Tanks combat series, today announced a partnership with comic book publisher Dark Horse Comics. This agreement will see the creation and publication of the World of Tanks: Roll Out! comic book series inspired by the hit video game with over 120 million registered players globally. World of Tanks: Roll Out! will be a five issue series, rolling into comic book stores across the US and European territories and digital distribution in the fall of 2016.

World of Tanks: Roll Out! will be written by fan-favorite Garth Ennis, who brings a unique, historically-informed approach to tell a hard-hitting war tale focused on the daring tank crews of  World War II. The legendary Carlos Ezquerra will bring his decades of skill to depict the tanks of WWII and the men who commanded them. Covers will be gorgeously illustrated by Isaac Hannaford.

World of Tanks: Roll Out! is set during the tank battles of the summer 1944, featuring British versus German armored units in post D-Day Normandy. It’s the German Panthers vs. British Cromwells, as the British tankers push deeper into France and toward the might of the Germans.

World of Tanks: Roll Out! comic issue #1 will be available digitally in the fall of 2016 in comic book shops across North America and Europe, and will follow a monthly cadence of release for five issues of brutal tank combat.

World of Tanks is the first free-to-play massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. With hundreds of vehicles from a variety of countries at your disposal, the path to victory is achieved through team work, strategy and expert combat skill.

World of Tanks Roll Out! World of Tanks

Review: Bloody Mary TPB

BLOODY MARYGarth Ennis is probably one of the best writers of my generation, as he has a style that reminds me of Larry McMurtry, while his fearlessness borders on Alan Moore’s bravado. He has carved a nice little niche, that few writers today even come close to, and few comic book houses would even dare to publish, except for Image and Black Mask. His run on Punisher is what made the character, far beyond the frame of a dark brooding anti hero, but a man who uses vengeance as a way to assuage pain. His penultimate creation, Preacher, has and still questions everything that is status quo, and asks the fundamental question of whether these institutions would even last in a society, where the beliefs they were built upon, were meaningless.

He explores those dark corridors and dirty streets, that no one dares looks at, much less venture. His characters are vibrant, real, disgusting, and familiar all at the same time. I always wished he had written an issue of Marvel’s brilliant What If series, as the questions he would raise would definitely be mind altering. He pretty much has done that in this graphic novel, asking a question, that global politics often makes the world wonder, if we are ever on the brink of war.

In this graphic novel, he asks the question of how the world will be shaped if there was a third European conflict, what type of people would emerge from such a confluence of events. Enter the main character, Mary Malone, a ruthless assassin, who has a binary set of problems, in an insane cult and an immortal man. She does what it takes to survive within this world, often, facing many moral crises along the way. By book’s end, you will never find a bloodier trail of dead bodies, than what Mary has laid in her wake, as she proves that our best heroes are almost always flawed.

Overall, a story that is so visceral, that it makes you feel as dirty as Mary did, but will make you feel grateful for whatever situation you do live in. The story by Ennis is beautiful, ugly dangerous and powerful. The art by Carlos Ezquerra, feels like 90s comic art at its best, as you can surely tell that is exactly what he was going for. Altogether, a ride worth taking, as this Ennis within his comfort zone, which makes it one of his best.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Bloody Mary Finds New Home at Image Comics

BLOODY MARYBestselling and Eisner-Award-winning writer Garth Ennis and artist Carlos Ezquerra present an action-packed tale of future warfare and a heroine whose faith lies firmly in firepower in Bloody Mary, coming from Image Comics this March.

Bloody Mary is set in a world only slightly worse than our own, a third great European conflict has dragged the major powers into a lethal war of attrition. Now, Mary Malone, the most dangerous assassin in a land of killers, must face both a man who cannot die and a crazed cult leader whose flock are all too ready to die for him.

Bloody Mary hits comic book stores on Wednesday, March 9th and bookstores on Tuesday, March 15th, and will be available for $16.99.

Preview: Johnny Red #1 (of 8)

JOHNNY RED #1 (OF 8)

WRITER: Garth Ennis
ARTIST: Keith Burns
COVERS BY: Keith Burns, Carlos Ezquerra
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE-COUNT: 32PP
PRICE: $3.99
ON SALE: November 4
ORDER CODE: SEP151621

Legendary British fighter ace, Johnny ‘Red’ Redburn, returns once more as the commander of the Falcons – a Russian fighter squadron battling the Nazis in the skies over Stalingrad. But dogfighting Messerschmitts is about to become the least of his troubles when the NVKD – the notorious Soviet secret police – come calling!
Johnny Red #1 comes with 3 covers to collect!

JohnnyRed1

Almost American
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