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Review: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

As someone who has served in the military, I have mostly fond memories. There were some trials and tribulations along the way as it is a hard and fast lesson on how people from different walk of life really are. Most of us found this out in boot camp and a reality that became galvanized once we were out in the fleet. This is where we got to learn how to work people we would never get along in any other situation.

The recent war movie by Tom Hanks, Greyhound brought back so many of those memories. It got me excited, but also put me back in those memories of operating underway at sea. I was not in during the first Gulf War, but heard so many “sea stories” of the combat they saw and how scary every day was. In the graphic novel adaptation of James Hornfischer’s The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, we finally get to see firsthand, one of the greatest naval battles of World War II in full color.

We are taken to the Pacific Ocean in October of 1944, shortly after General Macarthur returned to the Philippines. We soon find out two naval sea powers occupy the Pacific,  the Third Fleet under the  command of Admiral Halsey and  Seventh Fleet known as “Macarthur’s Navy”, which relied smaller escort carriers, but screened by the powerful and fast Fletcher Class Destroyer ships. Meanwhile in Japan, Admiral Shoji Nishimura, who commands their Southern Force, looks to draw the US Navy into combat and diminish them in any way they can. Unfortunately, he gets beaten by Admiral Oldendorf, giving the US Navy, temporary relief, but the Japanese have another plan in play, lead by Admiral Takeo Kurita, who commands the Central Force who look to drive the Americans out of the Philippines. Because Halsey becomes obsessed with chasing Japanese carriers, this leave the san Bernardino Strait unguarded, which leaves it up to Third Fleet to defend , and unbeknownst to all of both carrier groups, the Japanese were using this as an opportunity to gain tactical advantage. As the Seventh Fleet beats back the Central Force, they also take casualties as the USS Johnston takes a major casualty, leaving the ship to be dead in the water. Through a series of maneuvers and luck and through some air support, each ship captain makes a decisive blow against the Japanese fleet, but not without loss, of men and vessels. By book’s end, Japan’s Central Force retreats in defeat, failing to breakthrough General Macarthur’s beachhead in the Philippines, but permanently disabling each of the tin can ships, forcing the crews to abandon each ship, but the US Navy would have the last laugh, as the guide bomber squadron accompanied by torpedo planes would end them before they could return home.

Overall, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors is an epic graphic novel that covers the wide scope of the battle through different viewpoints. The story by Hornfischer is well researched and exciting. The adaptation by Doug Murray is seamless. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, this book feels like the war movies my grandfather raised me on. As a Navy veteran, I’m proud to know that this is part of our heritage.

Story: James Hornfischer Adaptation: Doug Murray
Art: Steven Sanders, Rob Steen,
and Matt Soffe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: KindleBookshop

AfterShock Reveals Lion and Eagle by Garth Ennis, PJ Holden, Matt Milla, and Rob Steen


Writer: Garth Ennis 
Artist: PJ Holden 
Colorist: Matt Milla 
Letterer: Rob Steen 
Cover: Tim Bradstreet 
Incentive Cover: Keith Burns
$7.99 / 48 pages / Color / On Sale 02.16.22

Oversized prestige format miniseries from the mind of Garth Ennis! 

1944: Imperial Japan still commands most of Asia. Determined to regain their hold on Burma, the British send a special forces unit – the Chindits – deep behind Japanese lines. Their mission is to attack the enemy wherever they find him. What awaits them is a nightmare equal to anything the Second World War can deliver. 

Colonel Keith Crosby and Doctor Alistair Whitamore have old scores to settle, being veterans of the long retreat through Burma two years before. But neither the jungle nor the foe have gotten any less savage, and when the shooting starts and the Japanese descend on the smaller British force in their midst, every man will be tested to his limit. 

Writer Garth Ennis (The Boys, Preacher, DREAMING EAGLES) and artist PJ Holden (The Stringbags, World of Tanks, Judge Dredd) present a tale of hellish jungle warfare, as apparently civilized human beings descend into an apocalyptic heart of darkness.


Dead Reckoning Announces Its Fall 2021 Releases

Dead Reckoning will bring you three new graphic novels in Fall 2021. First up is Four-Fisted Tales by four-time Eisner-nominated cartoonist Ben Towle, which tells the story of how animals have been used to fight in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields. Next, The Jewish Brigade by Marvano follows how the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group came to fight against and hunt down Nazis who sought to murder them and their families. Last, but not least, James D. Hornfischer along with Doug Murray and Steven Sanders bring The Last Stand of The Tin Can Sailors. Outgunned and outnumbered, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors brings to life the New York Times bestseller on the Battle off Samar where a small American task force fought to turn back an overwhelming Japanese force at Leyte Gulf.

Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat

By Ben Towle
978-1-68247-416-7 | August 18, 2021
Paperback | $24.95

In virtually every military conflict in recorded history animals have fought—and often died—alongside their human counterparts. While countless stories of the men and women who’ve served in the trenches, jungles, and deserts of the world’s battlefields have been told, Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat shares the stories of the animals who fought alongside them.

From Hannibal’s elephants in ancient Rome to mine-sniffing rats in Vietnam and everything in between, Four-Fisted Tales highlights the real-life contributions of these underappreciated animal warriors. Whether in active combat or simply as companions, these animals served and made their mark on history.

Ben Towle is a four-time Eisner-nominated cartoonist. His previous works include Oyster WarAmelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean (with Sarah Stewart Taylor), which received accolades from The New York Times and Publishers Weekly and was a Junior Library Guild selection; Midnight Sun; and Farewell, Georgia.

Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat

The Jewish Brigade

By Marvano
978-1-68247-723-6 | September 15, 2021
Paperback | $24.95

In the waning years of World War II, as the tragic plight of the European Jews was coming to light in ever more horrific detail, a Jewish fighting force, known as the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, was born as part of the British Eighth Army. Leslie Toliver, a racecar driver in the pre-war years, eagerly joined the all-volunteer force for a chance to fight with his people against those who sought to murder them. 

Born in Belgium, Marvano, started out as an interior designer. Years later, he began an alternate career as an illustrator, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of the magazine Kuifje, then managing the comics department of Flemish publisher Den Gulden Engel. All the while he published his own comics and went on to write and illustrate dozens of graphic novels over decades, most notably adapting Joe Halderman’s famous novel The Forever War.

The Jewish Brigade

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour

By James D. Hornfischer; Adapted by Doug Murray; Drawn by Steven Sanders; Colored by Matt Soffe; Lettered by Rob Steen
978-1-68247-338-2 | October 20, 2021
Hardcover | $29.95

Adapted from the naval history classic and New York Times bestseller, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors pieces together the action of the Battle off Samar, bringing to life a riveting story of heroism against daunting odds, duty, and sacrifice in a way never seen before.

James D. Hornfischer’s gripping account of the battle, based on declassified documents as well as extensive interviews with veterans, is acclaimed as one of the most compelling works of naval history ever published. Hornfischer’s awards include the 2018 Samuel Eliot Morison Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum.

Doug Murray is a comic book writer and novelist. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Army in Vietnam and was the main writer on the popular comic book series The ‘Nam, published by Marvel Comics.

Steven Sanders is an illustrator. His work has appeared in the distinguished SPECTRUM anthology and has drawn a number of comics for Marvel and Image Comics.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour

Review: Marjorie Finnegan Temporal Criminal #1

Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal #1

Garth Ennis teams up with his A Walk Through Hell artist Goran Sudzuka and colorist Miroslav Mrva to tell a cheeky, breezy cop vs criminal time travel story in Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal #1. Ennis uses a simple dual protagonist setup in this first issue. Marjorie uses her time travel tech to steal treasures from the past and generally have a good time using her “Unfucker” to avoid any anomalies or angry fanboys who spend every spare moment watching “Cinema Sins” and bitching and moaning about “plot holes” in the Back to the Future films. She enjoys David Bowie records and has a human head named Tim to do all the tech stuff. On the other hand, there’s Harri, who is your typical time cop and trying to make sure that no one is having fun in the time stream.

Misogynistic dialogue, mysterious guys being creepy to Marjorie, and some cultural insensitivity aside, Marjorie Finnegan is really toned down for an Ennis comic, especially in the violence department. (A lone Viking taking a point blank machine gun shot to the chest aside.) He and Sudzuka lean into the novelty of people having modern weapons in the past and live off Marjorie pumping Rameses’ soldiers full of shotgun shells and another rogue time traveler named Otto protecting some unnamed European coast from Vikings. Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva’s art is easy to follow with fun touches like shell casings, severed limbs in silhouette, and choreographed dance moves. Everyone is generally having a good time.

Much of the humor in Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal comes from Garth Ennis poking fun at the seriousness and logic (Or lack of logic) in time travel stories and dropping funny captions for each person that Harri and Marjorie kill with the fate they avoided. It’s a toss up if being perforated by bullets that make you look like a cheese grater, or autoerotic asphyxiation is a worse way to go out. The whole time travel thing is just an opportunity for Sudzuka to draw fun action sequences in interesting locales, or Ennis to indulge his love of history and go into great detail about the burial rituals of Egyptian pharaohs. (But in any time period, David Bowie and cold pizza are always cool.) They can do Doctor Who with more sex and violence and about the same amount of dancing while setting up Marjorie and Harri as the proverbial immovable object and unstoppable force with the final page hinting at the true nature of their conflict in future issues.

He’s already done Preacher, Hitman, a definitive Punisher run, and hopefully he’s rolling in The Boys money so Garth Ennis really has nothing to prove to anyone any more. Marjorie Finnegan: Temporal Criminal #1 is living proof of that and is the comic book equivalent of a fast food meal. But, one of the classier places like Cook Out, In-N-Out, or Skyline Chili thanks to the energy of Goran Sudzuka’s art and the brightness of Miroslav Mrva’s color palette. Marjorie Finnegan is an action-comedy with better shootouts than one-liners and hopefully, future issues find that balance.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: Goran Sudzuka
 Colors: Miroslav Mrva Letters: Rob Steen
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.6 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

AWA/Upshot provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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AHOY Comics Announces Snelson: Comedy is Dying from Paul Constant, Fred Harper, Lee Loughridge, and Rob Steen

Melville Snelson was killing it. He was the talk of the stand up circuit. He had a TV sitcom in development! He even had a date with Janeane Garofalo (although, to be fair, she denies it). But that was the 1990’s — and that was a long time ago.

Welcome to Snelson: Comedy is Dying, an all-new series from AHOY Comics, written by Paul Constant, featuring art by Fred Harper, colors by Lee Loughridge, and lettering by Rob Steen. This 5-issue series chronicles the misadventures of a washed-up comedian whose career peaked when Dawson’s Creek was still on the air. Bitter because he missed his big break in the ‘90s, Snelson is struggling with the idea that he’s a victim of cancel culture or, even worse, forgotten altogether. The debut issue, featuring a collectible variant cover by legendary cartoonist Peter Bagge, will be published by AHOY Comics on August 4, 2021.

Review: The Wrong Earth: Night And Day #3

The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #3

If you haven’t been paying attention to Ahoy‘s Wrong Earth series, you’re missing out. The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #3 is the first issue I’ve read in time to actually get a review together after catching up on the first volume via trade and the previous two single issues (the first issue of Wrong Earth: Night and Day I read and reviewed before reading the first volume). The beauty of this series is that you don’t need to have read the first volume to enjoy Night and Day because the essential concept of the book is really simple for a fan of superhero comics – or even a person with a slight awareness of a certain character – to grasp; what happens when a silver age hero and his modern counterpart switch places?

The previous issue saw the two counterparts, the gritty Dragonfly from Earth Omega and the charming Dragonfly Man from Earth Alpha finally team up after being stuck in each other’s world for the first volume as they meet in a third world, Earth Zeta, that has been gradually poisoning the other worlds. As you can probably imagine, things didn’t go smoothly when Dragonfly tried to kill a henchman, and the pair ended up captured by Number One, the Joker to their Batman (honestly, now that I think of it, Wrong Earth is a better version of Three Jokers in how the three different versions of the same character has been handled).

Writer Tom Peyer plays into the dichotomy of the two characters and the hallmarks of the eras that they pay homage to with no sense of irony. It took me by surprise a little when I realized that Peyer was treating things like the anti-bullet spray with a genuine seriousness, but as I fell deeper into his world, I realized that there’s a charm to that era of comics that we’ve lost as the medium has trended toward the realism and violence seen in today’s comics. It’s fun. Genuinely fun, and watching Dragonfly’s gobsmacked reactions makes me laugh every time.

The plot of the comic takes a bit of a turn in this issue from where I was expecting the story to go, and I am all for the direction that Peyer is taking this story. He’s taking what is ultimately the bigger conflict of the series and moving it center stage, which opens up the possibility of some fantastic story telling and identity questions that can be explored.

Artistically, penciller Jamal Igle, inker Juan Castro and colourist Andy Troy hit the nail on the head. There’s a generous amount of white in this book, allowing you to focus on certain parts of the art and story. But we also take a visit to both Earth Alpha and Earth Omega, with the two worlds having a distinct flair to their settings, embodied by something as simple as the facial hair or lack thereof of the main characters. There’s a lot to enjoy on the visual journey of this book, a lot to take in, but it’s the subtleties of the art that really elevate the comic as a hole. It sounds almost foolish that stubble can make a book, but here we are.

The Wrong Earth: Night And Day #3, like previous issues also include a couple of prose pieces that aren’t necessarily required reading, but are certainly nice additions to a comic that was already worth buying on the merits of its main story (which clocks in around 20 odd pages). Wrong Earth is fast becoming one of my most anticipated series – whether you start with this volume or you pick up the first trade, you really can’t go wrong with this. Peyer walks the line between tongue in cheek send-up and deadly serious story in the same way a tightrope walker moves across the rope – with impeccable balance.

Story: Tom Peyer Art: Jamal Igle Inker: Juan Castro
Color: Andy Troy Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provide Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Review: The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1

The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1

The vengeance-dealing Dragonfly sticks it to the man! The acrobatic sleuth Dragonflyman assists the police! These alternate-earth versions of the same masked crimefighter meet face-to-face for the first time in this new series by the original creators of the smash-hit The Wrong Earth! Will their impossible encounter result in a team-up…or an all-out war? Find out in The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1!

The Wrong Earth: Night And Day #1 is the follow up to AHOY‘s The Wrong Earth, but you don’t need to have read the original series (or its prequel) to enjoy the first issue of this one because the tale is positioned in a way that any who are familiar with the Batman 66 comics or TV show and the grittier modern Batman comics will understand the status quo of the comic with the simple recap page. Because it really is a simple concept, but it’s one that hooks you in rather effortlessly.

The comic is an easy read, and plays off the switch between the gritty Dragonfly and the innocuous Dragonfly Man as they inhabit the wrong world – although after a year, the characters have some familiarity with their surroundings

Writer Tom Peyer is able to write a sequel comic that’s every bit as accessible to new readers, of which I am one, than the first issue of volume one. He strikes a unique balance between telling the story and giving you a sense of who the players are without spoon feeding you the details in a way that will leave returning readers rolling their eyes as the unnecessary recaps. Peyer gives each version of Dragonfly (Man) a unique voice, playing into the dichotomy of their switched roles with a level of dry humour that sings to me.

Artistically, penciller Jamal Igle, inker Juan Castro and colourist Andy Troy deliver a solid book. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a slight slip in the art – there are two panels with the hilariously named Lady Dragonfly Man where the lines of her legs don’t seem to follow any real anatomical sense. While I did spend a few minutes trying to work out how what I was looking at made sense, I didn’t feel that it really took away from the experience of the comic on the whole because the trio give an energy to the story that makes you want to keep turning the page.

Wrong Earth: Night And Day #1 also include a couple of prose pieces that aren’t necessarily required reading, but are certainly nice additions to a comic that was already worth buying on the merits of its main story (which clocks in around 20 odd pages). Despite not needing to read the first volume of the story to enjoy the start of this volume, I’m now curious and interested enough to circle back and pick the first trade up. This is just the kind of refreshing story I needed to kick off 2021.

Story: Tom Peyer Art: Jamal Igle Inker: Juan Castro
Color: Andy Troy Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provide Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus Comics

Review: Happy Hour #1

“I bet everyone here is fake happy too.”-Paramore

Happy Hour #1

Writer Peter Milligan, artist Michael Montenat, and colorist Felipe Sobreiro create a high concept dystopian comic in Happy Hour #1. The book’s premise is that being unhappy is a crime and gets you thrown in A Clockwork Orange-style re-education camps (But with better food) where you’re basically tortured into having a Joker smile even when you feel pain, discomfort, or in a state of emotional distress or grief. For example, one of the main characters, Jerry, is thrown into a re-education camp by the Joy Police because he’s sad that his sister has passed away while his mind-screwed mom and the doctor are laughing and making jokes about her looks. This is bad, but one of his fellow inmates at the camp, a bit of a wildcard named Hamm, keeps talking about Landor Cohen, who has a “paradise” in Mexico where anyone can be as miserable as they want. However, in keeping with Happy Hour‘s cynical tone and Milligan’s self-aware writing style, this isn’t as it seems.

Michael Montenat’s mixture of caricature and photorealistic art a la Michael Gaydos (Alias, Pearl) is well-suited for the terrifying supporters of the Joy Police and the status quo with their rictus grins and laughs that look like those infamous stock photos of women laughing at salad instead of genuine merriment. Colorist Sobreiro adds a little juice to the line work during any of the torture or indoctrination scenes from regular electric shocks to a truly traumatizing treatment that is enacted on Hamm towards the end of the issue as the guards grow tired of him jabbering about Landor Cohen. He turns on the reds and then returns to skin tone and then reds again as Milligan and Montenat drop the issue ending cliffhanger.

Plotwise, Peter Milligan has really dug a hole for the characters we meet in Happy Hour #1, and I’m eager to see them try to dig out of it (Or get brainwashed while trying.) over this six issue miniseries. With the exception of Kim, who was an Olympic level athlete, he doesn’t endow Happy Hour‘s leads with a lot of practical smarts or skills to either pull off a prison break, much less any kind of revolution. Montenat draws Hamm like a chiseled, grizzled anti-hero, but he’s no Daredevil in a bar fight, and despite his charisma and machismo, he ends succumbing to the Joy Police easily. He talks a big game, but can’t perform when the chips are down.

Bouncing off this, the protagonists of Happy Hour are truly underdogs instead of badasses Hollywood-coded as underdogs. They’re self-described “miserable bastards”, who just want to rock a resting bitch face occasionally, feel a little pissed about getting a bronze medal, or in Jerry’s case, actually feel honest emotions about the loss of a loved one instead of being forced to smile and conform to a false reality. In the flashback sequences, Milligan and Montenat get in some quick satire about the American opioid and mental health crisis even though there seems to be a bit of a distance and reliance on well worn tropes instead of engaging with Americans’ complex relationship with pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry. They fare much better in the crafting of the main characters from the entertaining, yet very Philosophy 101 introduction to their shared experiences in the reeducation camp ranging from their dedication to being miserable to their begrudging acceptance of the gourmet meals provided.

With a genuinely rag tag group of characters, a touch of intellectual wit and real emotional honesty from Peter Milligan’s script, and some downright unsettling art from Michael Montenat, Happy Hour #1 is the perfect comic for folks who want to feel their feelings instead of embrace Stoic philosophy like the rest of the fake happy influencer crowd.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Michael Montenat
Colors: Felipe Sobreiro Letters: Rob Steen

Story: 7.9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Ahoy provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Review: Penultiman #1

Penultiman #1

There’s been numerous comic series that have launched that are deconstructions or explorations of the superhero. Many have gone on to be praised and considered modern classics. Some have fallen a bit flat. There’s also a point where you wonder if there’s anything new to explore. Penultiman #1 is a worthy entry in that genre taking a different angle exploring superheroes.

Written by Tom Peyer, Penultiman #1 explores a hero who has no confidence. He’s Superman who has been taken being cast out as a blow. Sent back in time from the future, he seems to be on a mission to prove himself worthy to return but taking it all a bit personal resulting in a bit of self-hatred.

Peyer gives us an interesting take on the concept. This is a hero who’s driven by a desire of approval from parents he thinks have rejected him. That lack of confidence extends to his alter-ego whose stumbling doesn’t come off as much as an attempt to protect his secret identity as it does an extension of his personal issues.

But, it feels like it wouldn’t be a comic from AHOY if it took itself too seriously. Peyer infuses the comic with a lot of humor. By the end of the issue it’s clear that this isn’t quite going to be a serious look at the superhero psyche but instead a humorous play on it all. We’ll find out more with the second issue of course.

That humorous tone is helped by the art of Alan Robinson who’s joined by Lee Loughridge on color and Rob Steen with lettering. The modern world of Penultiman is what you might expect with superheroes. It’s nice to look at and the designs are fun. But, there’s the future where things are… odd. That’s the point I realized the comic wasn’t as serious as it might be. The designs there are just weird and funny, and add a bit of quirk to the comic that helps drag it back into the world of fun and not so dour. The art “lifts” the comic in a way and adds enjoyment to the story.

As it’s an AHOY comic, the issue is packed with extras including three prose entries from Kek-W, Chris Lundy, and Philip Ellis, and art by Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, and Elliot Mattice. These are all entertaining and a bit all over in content but to me, it’s the bonus for a comic I’d buy otherwise. It “adds value” to something I’d already get and read.

Penultiman #1 is an interesting comic with what feels like a new take on the examination of the superhero. It does it as well without taking itself too seriously. The combination of something to say with some humor feels welcome in the space and where the series goes should be interesting. It’s definitely a comic to keep an eye on and might be one that gets folks buzzing.

Story: Tom Peyer, Kek-W, Chris Lundy, Philip Ellis Art: Alan Robinson, Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, Elliot Mattice
Color: Lee Loughridge Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Review: The Stringbags

The Stringbags

In today’s fast-paced world, not necessarily intentionally, we tend to dismiss those of an older generation. When I was in the military, I often found myself being given advice by those who came before me. Sometimes, it was something useful. I would use these gems in future situations. Some of the best stories I ever heard were the guys who went to Desert Storm.

 Much of what they did was unheralded and often it was an important contribution to the overall mission. In my fascination with history and finding those rarely told stories, I’ve found hundreds of them. Many brave men and women did missions that didn’t give them medals and deserved photo ops. Those endeavors threaded that invisible needle to ensure the proper outcome. One of those stories where these men and women, most of them deceased, finally got their recognition, was the WWII veterans of native Filipino descent who fought for America. One of those being my grandfather. In Garth Ennis, PJ Holden, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Rob Steen’s brilliant The Stringbags, we find out about another ragtag crew whose exploits may have saved the world.

We are taken to 1940, where crews of young men in the British Royal Navy were flying what is then considered an artifact, the Fairey Swordfish, also known as Stringbag, because of its simplistic structure. As we meet the crew of one these flying wonders, Archie, Ollie, and Pops, whose banter and camaraderie make an easy lane for cohesion and the long missions just a bit shorter. They are soon tasked with Operation Judgment, as Britain is hanging on to the forwarding operating bases by skin of their teeth, and the lone nation at the time fighting against Nazi Germany and looking to keep the ground at Malta, as this particular crew volunteers to scout, a mission that could mean their ultimate fate. At They soon find they could are outnumbered but if can take out one of their vessels, they can tilt the odds in their favor, as they soon catch heavy fire from one of the Italian Battleships, which they responded with a torpedo, taking out the Taranto, and soon the rest of the Stringbag squadron would take out the remaining fleet of the Regia Marina. As glory did not last long, eventually the German Blitz hit London and all of England was under attack from the “axis of evil”, as the UK sought some type of victory, as the expansion of Nazi Germany into England seemed almost imminent. Soon, the German Navy became a powerful force at sea, as we find Archie, Ollie, and Pops, flying U Boat patrols, but are soon tasked with a covert mission to escort the Ark Royal, one of the best aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy. As the crew lands on the Ark Royal, they soon find out that the HMS Hood, one their battleships had been blasted in half by the German Battlecruiser, the Bismarck. Soon our heroes take on two missions to destroy the battleship, one which was unsuccessful but the other, landing a crucial blow, which our protagonists’ plane did not survive but they did, and would lead the way for the rest of the squadron to ensure it was the Bismarck’s final voyage. Soon Germany would need to shore up its more vulnerable territories, which lead Hitler to recall three of their Battle cruisers, going the fastest route, through the English Channel. Of course, the Royal Navy guessed this would happen, and in February 1942, would deploy Operation Fuller, but rattled by the success of the Japanese fleet, they would need the fearlessness of the Stringbag squadron. By the book’s end, this would be the last mission of this crew, as they would not survive this mission, which was a complete failure, leaving only five survivors.

Overall, a book that is very much a throwback to the war movies of yesteryear, which gives these unsung heroes their proper day in the sun. The story by Ennis is funny, relatable, action-packed, and well developed. The art by the creative team is simply breathtaking. Altogether, a story that will make you want to go watch movies like Midway, to remember the heroism of those who fought despite the odds.

Story: Garth Ennis Art: PJ Holden, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Rob Steen
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

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