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CSBG Archive

The Comic Book Fools of April – The Adventures of the Rifle Brigade

Every day in April I will be featuring a humorous comic (either an issue or a series of strips) that I found particularly amusing. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com the comic stories that are your favorites when it comes to hilarity, and I’ll see if I can’t feature some of them this month, as well!

Today we look at Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra’s Adventures in the Rifle Brigade.

It is quite possible that there is not a single comic book writer out there nowadays who is a bigger fan of war comics than the great Garth Ennis. So therefore, who better to do an over-the-top parody of war story cliches than Ennis?

And that is the heart of Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, which is expertly drawn by Carlos Ezquerra.

First off, Ennis gives us the ultimate collection of ridiculous stereotypes as the team…

Then he places them into ridiculous situations, like when they attempt to pass themselves off as German soldiers

In a brilliant sequence right before this, Ennis shows us a group of German soldiers hanging out talking about how much they have to live for and how they are looking forward to their lives past the war. Before the Rifle Brigade shoots them all, of course. Twisted stuff.

A recurring gag in the series is one of the members of the team keeps faking fatal wounds to get Darcy to do stuff like kiss him or more as the series progresses.

This first mini-series was 3 issues, followed by another 3 issue series soon after. This only gives you a glimpse of the madcap, bizarre nature of these stories. Definitely a blast for any fans of war comics or war films!

[NOTE: I featured this comic in the Year of Cool Comics – BC]


“Distinguishing Features: Scottishness”

Makes me laugh every time.

Got both miniseries and all six issues. Watching Milk fake dying in order to ask for acts of homosexuality that kept getting more extreme with each passing issue. Also . . . the poor German dominatrix that got shortchanged in “Operation Bollock” and Maryland Smith trying to get said bollock for Uncle Sam. “Now home, for gum and pussy!!” Good times. Only wish you brought in art beyond the first issue. Honestly, I don’t understand why we needed Geezer and Hank, since they had less than one dimension.

Is there a trade of both minis out there?

There is one (collecting both mini-series), but I believe it is currently out of print.

I have some of these issues, but not all, so I haven’t read it yet. And I keep forgetting to hunt down the missing issues. I really need to take care of that.

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Another humourous Ennis classic that should be showcased here is none other than the Image one-shot: THE PRO by Ennis and Amanda Connor.

That was hilariously a knee-slapper!

I second the THE PRO recommendation. And while you’re at it, you could showcase all the KEV’s mini-series. Great stuff!

I’m reading the Pro in Millar’s CLiNT and I’m not a fan. Ennis can bring the funny though. The more extreme he gets, the less I’m into it. This is why his MAX punisher was better than his Knights one. Also why I stay away from the Boys. Could be wrong though. This looks just the right side of extreme for me.

Exchange that sums up this brilliant comic for me:

Nazi 1: “Now look here Wankshaft!”
Nazi 2: “That’s VENKSCHAFT!”

I still have a random laugh over this bit (and several others) from time to time.

It was one of, if not THE funniest comic I’ve read – I got it as a graphic novel at the library, and it ended with the “Semmen” bollock mission. To find hitler’s lost testicle etc.

i think what makes readers overlook this one is that it’s ww2 themed, and just browsing the covers etc a lot of people will “judge the book by it’s cover” and miss out on this because they figure it’s a generic ww2 comic/graphic novel.

The caricatures of all the British and Germans, and other peoples is top-notch and it will leave all kinds of catch phrases in your mind for a long time to come…. Tally-Ho!

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