Battlefields: Night Witches #1 (Dynamite – Ennis / Braun)
Late summer, 1942. As the German army smashes deep into Soviet Russia and the defenders of the Motherland retreat in disarray, a new bomber squadron arrives at a Russian forward airbase. Its crews will fly flimsy wooden biplanes on lethal night missions over German lines, risking fiery death as they fling themselves against the invader- but for these pilots, the consequences of capture will be even worse. For the pilots of the 599th Night Bomber Regiment are women. In the deadly skies of the Eastern front, they will become a legend- known, to friend and foe alike, as the Night Witches.
There are going to be a couple of these BATTLEFIELDS mini-series’ coming out, and you should keep you’re eye out for them simply because it is GARTH ENNIS. I am in no position to say anything about Garth Ennis who’s got his writing head on so straight and knows his craft so well it’s not even funny (I mean except when he’s trying to be). That said, this is not his strongest work. That said, it’s still 10x better than a lot of mainstream stuff out there, and the topic is intriguing (it’s not supernatural by the way).
You will find of plenty of complicated moral conundrums, in fact looking back, there are a lot of those for one single issue. Garth Ennis’ BATTLEFIELDS: NIGHT WITCHES packed full of moral conundrums. Leaves no bad aftertaste.
Russ Braun’s art is passable. I think the story lost a bit because his storytelling ability wasn’t up to the task of letting us know exactly what was going on. He did a good job distinguishing between characters, but the overall graphic story telling was a bit weak. It wasn’t effective at conveying key moments accurately and with maximum impact. Also, the book was unnecessarily gory, which took me out of the story. However, Mr. Braun shows a lot of potential and hopefully will keep working and getting better.
Overall Grade: B. If you like war stories, this is your writer, and this a book for you.