Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at Garth Ennis’ Enemy Ace: War in Heaven…
Enemy Ace: War in Heaven tells the tale of Hans von Hammer, the famous World War I fighter pilot known as the Enemy Ace. In War in Heaven, von Hammer is pulled out of retirement to fight in World War II for a German government that he does not support.
Ennis, as we all know by now, is a master at the world-weary World War II soldier, and it really works beautifully here for von Hammer, a guy who clearly does not want to be involved in the Nazi’s war, but then again…
A. What ELSE is he good at?
B. The Nazis are only being kept at bay from arresting him because of his past successes
C. “Innocent” German young men are dying when they might not be if he were around to help them
That’s all enough to bring him out of retirement at age 46 to fight during the War.
Of course, von Hammer is there JUST to fight – he does not suck up to the Nazis, and that occasionally causes some problems. Luckily for him, his tremendous war record helps him gain leeway in his disrespect towards the Third Reich. Ennis appears to be basing von Hammer’s World War II service in great part on the actual German pilot, Adolf Galland, who was a brilliant fighter pilot but also an outspoken critic of the Nazis, to the point where he would be punished by being stripped of his leadership positions and being sent to the most dangerous front lines imaginable.
The great Chris Weston did the first book…
And the legendary Russ Heath did the second…
Here’s Hans showing some lip towards the Nazis…
As the war deteriorates, so, too, does von Hammer’s willingness to put up with this situation. Things take a particularly disturbing turn later in the second book, and the ending to the series is dramatic and awesome.
This is worth reading, particularly if you like war stories.
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