Wednesday, December 30, 2009

War is Hell: Flight of the Phantom Eagle TPB

I think Garth Ennis could do this in his sleep. This is another solid war story from a master of the form. This isn't the best he's done, but it is entertaining. The whole concept of Phantom Eagle as the "hero pilot" is kind of mocked and doesn't really come up. I have no problems with that though, since it is a pretty silly war-time concept. The characters become almost interchangeable at times, but readers can define folks well enough to get the required emotional punches. Surprisingly, most of the pages are spent on the ground. Multiple characters talk about how quickly combat happens in the dangerous skies, so it makes sense that those moments of terror are quick blips throughout this trade. I hate to say I wasn't as taken with this because I've seen it before, but in comparison to some of the absolutely perfect war stories Ennis has told, this doesn't rank among the best.

Howard Chaykin's art is dramatic, but I have a hard time figuring out who is who. Every character is in uniform and since they all have the same haircut, there aren't enough moustaches to go around helping me figure out who is who. I'm not sure this needed to be a MAX book; there are only a few scenes that utilized that ranking and I think they would have worked without the mature rating.


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