One and Done – Weird War Tales #1 (2010)

Darwyn Cooke, Ivan Brandon, Jan Strnad – Writers
Darwyn Cooke, Steve Pugh, Nic Klein, Gabriel Hardman – Artists
Dave Stewart, Nic Klein, Daniel Vozzo – Colours
Steve Wands – Letters

Weird War Tales which would return in 2010 for a single issue would feature a trifecta of stories that would embody their namesake – being both weird and have the war figure into it in some way. The first by Darwyn Cooke takes place in some hell where those who died by war are taking part in a sort of Commonwealth Games-type of tournament. It is a funny piece drawn in a very cartoon-like manner that ends with Hitler ruining everything. Steve Pugh provides a pin-up that is both chilling and magnificent to look upon before it moves into the second tale of the issue by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein. Here, they tell a story of a submarine that is on its last legs and one that also happens to be in a fight to the death with a Japanese sub. There are two options present to the crew and both of them not very good – make a run for it and hopefully reach safe waters before they run out of power or fight, survive and hopefully reach safe waters before they run out of power. They do the latter, destroying the enemy and thereby destroy themselves as they slowly sink to the bottom of the ocean, powerless and running out of oxygen. The story takes a small twist though as there is one survivor who will live to tell the tale though he knows not how. A final piece of tragedy courtesy of Jan Strnad and Gabriel Hardman closes out the book and it sees two friends hiding out from the Germans, one of them seriously wounded. Though they take shelter, it is in a place that will surely get bombed if they do not move soon and yet because of the injury, doing so makes it nearly impossible. So it is that they reminisce back to when they were children and dreamed of dinosaurs, one more than the other and because he was so enchanted, they became almost real to him. Now, as the Germans bear down on them, there is nothing to do but try to be calm and think of that which saved them as children, to fend off the surety of death with those ancient creatures that once roamed the Earth. Though the book might have finished off with a bit of sadness, it was a well-rounded issue featuring everything from humour to horror by a great team of creators and was everything that readers could have hoped for, making them wish it was an ongoing instead of a one-shot.

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