Comics

One and Done – War Story: Screaming Eagles

Garth Ennis – Writer
Dave Gibbons – Artist
Pamela Rambo – Colours
Clem Robins – Letters

Sergeant Brewer is given the task of investigating and securing a country house for his commanding officer who is soon to visit in order that it be used as a place to work out of, the current camp obviously not good enough. Gathering his men after slightly telling off the Lieutenant who assigned it to him, they head out into what they believe is still occupied territory despite the war being essentially over. On the way, they find themselves a German prisoner who had just come from where they were headed and thus learning that it is otherwise unoccupied at the moment which makes their job a lot easier. Once arriving, Brewer and his men discover a fortune in riches throughout the house, learning from the German as to why and deciding that they will take a couple of days off with some phony story to tell the higher-ups as to why they never returned on time. Garth Ennis writes a different kind of tale with this issue, one filled with a little bit of humour though slightly muted as it is not all that funny as it is sad – the reader knowing exactly where all of these ‘treasures’ had come from that the men intend to take advantage of. The soldiers enjoy themselves and Ennis paints it all as a good time, aside from Brewer that is, the leading man of this tale who has frankly had enough at this point. It was receiving this mission that really did it for him, the loss and hardships that he and his men had gone through so far essentially being written off in his mind and all of it being underappreciated by people that had no idea what it was really like being out on the frontlines like himself and Easy Company, most of which were dead by this point in time. Throughout the book, there are scenes of men dying at various places and times, made to represent the thoughts in Brewer’s mind as he thinks back on his men and of who he lost and of how many. This sobers things up a bit for the reader and in a conversation with Tommy towards the end of the story, Brewer lays it all out, of the one hundred and thirty-six killed and wounded men he has been with, of how the General and the Lieutenant who sent them here had no idea of what it means to be with the men on the ground, to command them and to lose them, men who are better than those that command them and why all of that equals up to him hating the army. As the story ends, his commanding officers show up early at the house, all the fun and games now abruptly over and when questioning them as to what was going on and why they ignored orders, Brewer tells the general off, a perfect ending to this particular story. With some great artwork by the legendary Dave Gibbons, Screaming Eagles is a war story that likely mirrored what many men felt by the time their battles were all said and done.

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