War Stories
Vol. 2

Author: Garth Ennis
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84576 306 8
Available 26 May 2006

The brutality and bravery of those who served in history's greatest conflict is brought to vivid life by writer Garth Ennis and four of comics' finest artists. From the saturation bombing of the Ruhr Valley to the birth of the SAS in the deserts of North Africa, from the blasted wreckage of Guernica to the tracer-filled skies over the North Atlantic, these tales will land you dead centre in some of the worst combat zones the world has ever seen...

Volume 2 of Garth Ennis's War Stories series another four tales that examine war from all angles. Unlike Volume 1, the second collection mainly focuses on the Allies.

J For Jenny is illustrated by David Lloyd and centres on the crew of a Lancaster Bomber. We get to know all of the characters and their back stories. Their captain is a rather arrogant man who seems to be a rather sick s.o.b. It's soon discovered why he hates the Germans, even the innocent civilians, so much - a vicious bombing raid was responsible for the death of his family. He takes an almost perverse pleasure in his job bombing the enemy, much to the disgust of his fellow crew. However, there is an interesting twist in this tale.

The Reivers, illustrated by Cam Kennedy, follows a group on a mission. Along the way we get a history lesson on The Reivers, a bunch of guerrilla fighters whose blood lines survived the tearing down of the Scottish/English border. These fighters went on to spread around the world and were used in numerous battles to get in and out of a situation as quickly as possible. But are they a myth, or do they really exist?

Condors is probably best (although rather crudely) described as The Breakfast Club during the war. Here four soldiers, each from a different side, are stuck together in a shallow hole in the ground while mortars explode all around them. With nothing else to do, the four men share their tales, but is anyone really listening? Does anyone learn anything? This story is illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra

Gary Erskine illustrates Archangel, a tale about a pilot and his time as the first person to test a new attack strategy on the enemy. Launched, like a projectile from a catapult, he has to engage the enemy and then, if he has time, head for land or ditch his plane in the sea - hoping that he will be rescued.

As with Volume 1, this collection includes some historical literature to put this stories into context and give you some insight into the real missions and stories that these tales are based on.

Another winner from Ennis.

Darren Rea

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