One and Done – War Story: Condors

Garth Ennis – Writer
Carlos Ezquerra – Artist
Moose Baumann – Colours
Clem Robins – Letters

Condors begins during the Battle of Ebro in 1939, five months before World War II would commence and it finds four men of varying backgrounds sharing a small crater together while war rages around them. Leaving means death and so, with nothing to do but take a break and perhaps get to know one another, they do just that. The men could not be more different from one another – a German, a Spaniard, an Englishman and an Irishman and though they might consider each other enemies, for now, they are simply companions out of necessity. Joachim Reinert, the German begins and relates how he became a flier, something he has always wanted to do. It is a story of hardship and when it is all done, while the men can see a bit of themselves in that, they cannot understand why Reinert would follow a man like Hitler. Reinert to his credit proclaims that he is not a Nazi, does not believe in their politics and believes flying is the only honourable way of fighting. Billy Gardner, a socialist and an Englishman believes that everyone should fight against oppression, that everyone should live on an even playing field as it were and yet, while he does not want to fight, here he is in the midst of battle. Kilpatrick is another man who had a hard time growing up and he is far more bitter than the rest of the men, a Nationalist and an executioner who has no qualms about doing what needs to be done. His first mission out with the Irish Brigade was a complete failure and thus the reason for him sitting in this hole with the rest of them. Finally, it comes to Martinez, a man who joined the Republicans as he was at the bombing of Guernica, a slaughter if there ever were one of innocent civilians by the Nationalists. He tells the men he is trapped with that he hates them all, for the Germans bombing Spain and the other two men for their beliefs and ideals. When the battle outside has subsided, each makes a run for it believing that should they linger, one of them will cut the others down. None of that comes to pass. Garth Ennis writes a thought-provoking story, one that makes the reader think and one that sits with them long after the story is done. Belief in a cause is a powerful thing as it can create both heroes and monsters, leading men to war to further their cause whether wrong or right – all of it in the eye of the beholder. The men in this story may have listened to what the others had to say but at the end of the day, nothing that was said would change their minds, especially after their experiences of late which in itself, is a bit of a tragedy. Altogether, one of Ennis’ best efforts under the War Story banner with some great artwork by Carlos Ezquerra.

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