Issue by Issue – War is Hell #11

Writer – Chris Claremont
Artist – Don Perlin
Inker – Sal Trapani
Colours – Phil Rachelson
Letters – Artie Simek

Chris Claremont begins this tale of the Phony War as it was so called, that being World War II due to the inaction of most everyone after the invasion of Poland, in Finland where Major Jan Fieran finds himself dying. He does not want to die, who would ever want to die, and yet Death has come for him and there is no holding back that horrific harbinger. Enter John Kowalski, dead and cursed to die a thousand deaths or more, ripped from the ether and now in the body of Major Fieran with all of his memories, skills and so forth. He discovers that he as the major has a mission – to hold off the Russians from entering Finland, his five hundred men against their ten thousand. It seems an impossible task and yet he as Fieran knows that he must. Called the Winter War in Finland, Claremont presents an untold chapter though real enough in the details that it could have taken place easily enough. Both Kowalski and Fieran are brave men and Claremont really gives the man some great characterization to make him both relatable and heroic, a soldier that readers cannot help but root for. It also helps that the odds are stacked against them, ridiculously so which makes it even better as one cannot help but cheer for those who overcome the impossible. Uncertain and unsure of how they are going to stop the Russians much less beat them, the plan that Fieran was counting on is the one thing that Kowalski cannot seem to dredge up and yet after an intense battle, that soon becomes apparent with the arrival of a cool north wind. He knows what is coming and he knows that it is a killer and can do far more than his paltry division ever could. So it is that he orders his men back to their shelters, to get the fires going and fast before the first snows hit, knowing that his men can take it having been prepared for winter and the Russians cannot. Death meanwhile hovers over everything, a grim spectre awaiting an even grimmer feast, one of human souls and soon to be fed. War is hell as the title would imply and Don Perlin who hops aboard this issue makes it look quite fantastic, the man expressing the horror and rage and the thousand other emotions that the men are feeling throughout all of this quite perfectly. The book looks good, reads well and is one of the best that the series has produced thus far. A great issue that makes one want to continue reading immediately into the next one.

4 out of 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.