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Hmmm…Who am I rooting for here? – Blitzkrieg #1

May 13, 2010

I’m not much into war comics.  Let me amend that – I’m not much into war comics yet.  I’m sure I’ll one day add everything in the genre to my ever-growing want list.  But for right now, I’m sticking to tights and capes.  It might be that I still cling to the escapist fantasy that super-hero books provide.

Still, I couldn’t resist buying this premier issue of Blitzkrieg last year.  How can you not stop and admire that great cover, put together by the wonderfully prolific Joe Kubert?  Leave it to the damn Nazis to make you want to ball up your fists and punch something.  This time they’re about to gun down some already bombed out civilians – just throw that on the pile of crimes against humanity, I guess.  And lest you think this is a case of the cover offering up a scenario that the interior story doesn’t follow through with, they do indeed get gunned down.

I mean, we’re talking about Nazis here, after all.  Well, technically it’s the Wehrmacht that we’re dealing with, but lets not let that distinction get in the way of some full-bodied loathing.

There are two stories in this first issue of the series, both scripted by Bob Kanigher with art by Ric Estrada.  The first gives us the World War II Germans making there way through a crushed Warsaw, one that still has pockets of resistance.  We focus on three soldiers, Franz, Hugo, and Ludwig, as they struggle to figure out who’s trying to kill them and who’s just trying to get by while living in a war zone.  Franz shows the most evidence of restraint – he’s the one who disdains the shoot first attitude of his comrades.  Don’t let that fool you, though.  We’re not dealing with Enemy Ace-style stories here.  These guys are all bad news.

The second story is much shorter and centers on Attila the Hun.  The creative team wasn’t exactly subtle with the juxtaposition of conquest and resistance in the two eras, this time giving us a bloodthirsty boy in the service of Attila done in by the unyielding spirit of a subjugated people.  Short but sweet, it provides us, if not a happy ending, at least one where there’s some comeuppance.

Like I said above, war comics aren’t my thing.  Yet.  But the highest compliment I can offer this book is that I’ll be adding them to my want list sooner rather than later.

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