Writer – David Michelinie, Cary Burkett
Artist – Dick Ayers, Jerry Grandenitti
Inker – Romeo Tanghal
Colours – Jerry Serpe
Letters – Ben Oda
David Michelinie, Dick Ayers and Romeo Tanghal pack the lead feature in the fourth issue of Men of War full of action as Gravedigger must turn the tables on the Nazis or end up worm food for someone else to bury. The problem is not just the Germans though as Hazard must deal with those who call themselves his allies, most especially Lieutenant Gage who means to win this battle his way, Hazard be damned. The problem with Gage though is that he lets his racism blind him to the situation at hand and when Gravedigger points it out, it almost leads to all of their collective deaths. Thankfully, though it is an awful thing to say, Gage gets hit and it then leaves Ulysses Hazard to get the men to safety and to defeat the German unit single-handedly. One has to give the man credit, not only for his bravery and heroism, nor for his duty to country and his fellow man, but to his ability to ignore and put aside the blatant disrespect and derogatory comments from a man who sees him as nothing more than dirt. Gage might not like Hazard or the skin that he wears, but at some point he will have to admit that Hazard is a good soldier, perhaps one of the best and if the war is to be one, it will be with people like him. The second story of the book called Dateline: Frontline, finds a reporter by the name of Wayne Clifford, newly arrived in London and looking for a story. When he is met by a fellow news hound by the name of Ed Barnes, he is shown the ropes and what he discovers, he does not like. For one, it seems that the truth is subjective, that facts are secondary to the telling of a good tale and Clifford does not agree with that in the slightest. Facts are important and to leave them out does a disservice to the profession and to the readers at home. So it is that writer Cary Burkett sends Clifford out on the town after dark where he sees just what some of the local fighting men are up to, what happens without the embellishments of boisterous men looking for free booze and it opens his eyes. Sadly, when it comes to reporting the facts, those are something that is not required for they could unwittingly aid the enemy and demoralise the readers. What they need to hear are stories of heroism and acts of courage and while Clifford understands it, he is still not sure if he agrees with it. Both Michelinie and Burkett do a great job entertaining the reader and it never fails to have strong artists like Dick Ayers and Jerry Grandenitti on board to bring it all to life. Gravedigger is definitely getting far more interesting with every tale and though it is just beginning, Dateline: Frontline could make for some intriguing reading. Overall this was a very strong issue.
4 out of 5