The review of The War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky

The review of The War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky

If the comic war stories told in The War Stories by Garth Ennis have fascinated you, on August 26 a volume is coming that continues and enriches the main series. Thanks to saldaPress that publishes the series in Italy, The War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky will soon land in the comic store and bookstores, although perhaps it would be better to say that it will "land". In fact, here Garth Ennis focuses on the battles fought in the European skies together with the illustrator Keith Burns, taking up the story of a character we had already met in previous volumes, as well as the much-loved aircraft protagonists of numerous war adventures. A volume that is appreciated and of which we speak here in preview, in our review.

Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea

The ninth volume of The War Stories by Garth Ennis is the stage of the stories set in the years of the Second World War that sees Lieutenant Jamie MacKenzie, talented aviator of the RAF, move on the scene. After fighting in the skies of Russia and ending up having a bad adventure aboard his plane, MacKenzie sets out to reach his beloved woman, who has been waiting to see him again, once he gets out of his unpleasant situation alive. Although the story ends leaving us in the dark about the fate of this love, the new volume The War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky once again grabs the thread of the lieutenant's story and takes us into his new life alongside his beloved Beth .

His military career continues and MacKenzie continues to fight the Nazi air fleet aboard a Mosquito, but things are no longer easy for the pilot, not even now that he can count on the rank of lieutenant. As soon as he arrived at the new air base aboard his Mossie, he found himself involved in a "small" accident that immediately earned him the dislikes of Commander Broome, who thus began to target him and give him discriminatory treatment. Flanked by the most marginalized air navigator of the base since Indian and assigned to the most unreliable aircraft in the fleet, called T as Asshole, the pilot will have to fight a war in the war: the one against Broome, which torments him, and the one against the Nazi enemies, who follow in their forays despite the conflict gradually slipping towards its conclusion.

Between love and war

The exciting war stories written by Garth Ennis, as we have seen in the previous volumes of the series a comics, represent one of the most successful marriages between historical accuracy and fiction. The War Stories of Garth Ennis bring the years of the Second World War and some of the most shocking real events that characterized it to the world of comics, experienced by characters created ad hoc by the Irish author. However, they are generally part of those military groups that really existed at that time and it is no mystery that one of these to be favored by Ennis is that of the RAF, or the British Royal Air Force. Thus the protagonist of several stories within the series The War Stories by Garth Ennis, the RAF returns with its prowess in Heroes of the Sky, in a mixture of historical narration of the contribution that the aeronautical armed force has provided during the conflict and events fictionalized about what his airmen probably experienced during the service.

Ennis tends to be tough, he shows us the nastier sides of life and his actors, but we know that deep down he is an incurable romantic. So, although each story in the comic series is self-contained and leaves us only with the intuition of what the fate of each protagonist may have been, it seems that the Irish author loosens his grip and shows us here the continuation of Jamie's story. MacKenzie, former main character of the story entitled Archangel in volume 2. Without betraying the historiographical intentions that have defined the whole series, in The War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of Heaven we see "how they end up" the events of the unfortunate protagonist of Archangel and reading a story entirely dedicated to it gives great pleasure. Firstly, because as mentioned above we discover his fate after the Russian events and, secondly, because we finally see him tied to the woman who in the craziest and most desperate moments of the war represented an anchor of hope for him. br>
Garth Ennis tells of life beyond the destruction and miseries of war; also in Heroes of the Sky she talks about raids, gunshots, bombings, explosions, but alongside the scariest aspects of the conflict she also inserts bonds, the love for a woman who pushes a man to cross an entire continent marked by war to reach her, in addition to trust and respect capable of overcoming prejudices and intolerances. The War Stories of Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky excites us once again and not one too many, focusing on what is beyond the front line service, bringing us into the lives of people who, despite everything, were not simply "flesh cannon ", but living individuals linked to other individuals, with lives full of dreams and hopes capable of overcoming even the fear of war.

Between war and camaraderie

But don't get too low the guard, because it is certainly not all pink and flowers. Why is Heroes of the Sky so addicting? Not only because the protagonist finally has "a joy" in life, but also for the exact opposite. MacKenzie is tormented by Commander Broome, who even blows the possibility of blowing his wife out from under his nose; the aircraft entrusted to the pilot works at full capacity once every other time; and the commander believes it is an excellent punishment for the lieutenant to share his fate with Joseph Ranjaram, a Calcutta navigator who was more or less alienated by everyone due to his dark complexion. The War Stories of Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky thus also becomes a tale of revenge, of that determination capable of emerging even in the most adverse situations.

The situations in which the protagonist is hunted are at the limit of the fantozziano, in a mixture of irony and drama that makes us empathize with MacKenzie and makes us hate everything that happens to him. But the revenge is always around the corner and leafing through the pages of this volume means getting passionate in the search for the good in the mountain of "dung" that every war conflict brings with it: not only death and destruction, Ennis shows us how war is capable sometimes to bring out the worst in people who should instead be in solidarity with each other. Heroes of Heaven therefore also tells of the friendship and respect that "the worst" can give birth; of that determination that arises even in the most submissive individuals; of the camaraderie with the most unfortunate colleagues who have lost much of themselves along the road to war; and the courage that even the most apparently boorish people can show in unexpected moments.

The War Stories of Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky: the graphic sector

Through the series published by saldaPress , in volumes that collect all the stories in chronological order for the first time in Italy, we made the acquaintance of the "historian" Ennis who demonstrated a vast knowledge of the war topic, often writing about real events which are sometimes not mentioned on the history books. From his stories, however, another passion also emerges: that for military aircraft, which in the comics of this exciting series have been the protagonists over and over again, drawn from time to time by different illustrators.

Ne Le War Stories by Garth Ennis - Heroes of the Sky it's up to Keith Burns to handle matter and probably the comic series touches thanks to him the highest moment in the depiction of aircraft. Burns is in fact an illustrator specialized in the drawing of airplanes and it is enough to leaf through a few pages of the volume to confirm it: from the very beginning it is clear how the care and detail that the author uses in his creation make the planes realistic, almost capable of detach from the page to fly away in a roar of engines. If Garth Ennis knows his stuff as far as history is concerned, Keith Burns is an expert on the shapes, movements and colors of those "winged creatures" that crossed the skies of the world in the Second World War and looking at his illustrations is practically almost hypnotic.

For Ennis it was in our opinion a good choice to rely on Burns in the graphic part of the comic: in general, each page seems to be drawn with great attention to detail despite the stroke fast and also in aerial combat, where the greatest risk is to fall into the confusion of shots and aircraft that go up in smoke in the explosions, every image is clear and perfectly usable. Keith Burns is also a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists and at the end of the volume, we find a collection of his canvases made for the RAF Club in London, where the airplanes are hatched once again with great skill and care for realistic fidelity, which demonstrate as Heroes of Heaven he could not possibly have had a better draftsman.

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