Enemy Ace: War in Heaven (2001) Garth Ennis, Chris Weston, Christian Alamy, Russ Heath (DC)
A few years ago I blind-bought The Enemy Ace Archives by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert and loved it. Initially I loved (and still love) Kubert’s art style, but grew to also love Kanigher’s simple but powerful storytelling.
Enemy Ace was an unusual title for its time (the mid-1960s) in that its hero was a World War I flying ace named Hans von Hammer. That’s right; he’s fighting on the German side, but he didn’t always feel so great about it.
Garth Ennis picks up where the original left off, this time with an aging von Hammer living in secluded retirement. His old friend Peter wants Hans to join the war effort for Hitler. Hans isn’t sure; he is 46, after all, and isn’t really sure if he’s on board with Hitler’s policies.
But we know he’s going to join up and he does. What we don’t expect is…. Well, you’ll have to read it for yourself.
Enemy Ace: War in Heaven covers only a two-issue mini-series, but it’s a good one. (The volume also includes a reprint of a Kanigher/Kubert story.) The only issue I had with the book is in distinguishing the characters of Hans and Peter. They look an awful lot alike and in many cases it’s very confusing who’s who. The graphic novel also doesn’t distinguish who drew/inked each issue, which seems to be different people. The art is stronger in the first issue and most of the “who’s who” problems appear in the second.
Regardless, War in Heaven is an excellent read, especially for anyone who enjoys war comics.