GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Tankies

Dead Reckoning. (Battlefields, Bk. 3). Mar. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781682475973. pap. $24.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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Ennis (The Boys: Dear Becky) and Ezquerra (Essential Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War) pay tribute to the contributions of the British Army’s Royal Tank Regiment in this collection of three previously published stories. In the titular opening tale, set just after D-day, battle-hardened Corporal Stiles leads an inexperienced crew across Normandy. “The Firefly and His Majesty” finds Stiles—now a sergeant—hunting a vastly superior German King Tiger tank through west Germany in the waning days of the war. Gruff, obsessive Stiles emerges as an uncommonly enigmatic but increasingly compelling protagonist, especially in “The Green Fields Beyond,” which provides a glimpse of his inner life as he battles his personal demons while fighting along the Imjin River during the Korean War. Ennis provides extra context and reveals the historical inspiration behind various scenes in a lengthy afterword, and an excerpt from Ezquerra’s sketchbook provides insight into his process.
VERDICT Ennis’s talent for revealing character through naturalistic dialogue combines with illustrations detailing the chaotic brutality of battle to emphasize the human cost and spiritual toll of war in this stirring, tragic trilogy.
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