Comics

Issue by Issue – War is Hell #14

Writer – Chris Claremont
Artist – George Evans
Colours – Petra Goldberg
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

With this issue, Chris Claremont changes things up a bit as John Kowalski comes back to life in the body of a German soldier and not just any soldier but one that just so happens to be in charge of his own contingent. Their mission is to clear out a town in Norway and despite Kowalski not liking the fact that he is in the body of an enemy, all he can do is go along for the ride, at least for the most part. All of this leads to a large group of refugees which he agrees not to harm as long as they are on their best behaviour. Things go sour though when another officer reminds him of his oath to Hitler and the Reich which is worth more than his oath to some random Jews and so they are locked up in a makeshift penitentiary. Suffice it to say, Kowalski knows that to be a Jew in these parts means death which is perhaps why he was sent here in the first place. As it is, he cannot simply stand by to see them slaughtered and so comes up with a desperate plan to get them to safety. What makes this issue so good is the fact that Claremont went with something completely different this time, at least in the obvious, though when it comes right down to it, most men and women have the same hopes and fears and so forth in common which is why Kowalski was not too horrified by the body he was inhabiting. That being said, it is quite likely that the man he had become had done some terrible things in his past, what with being an officer he would have had to do questionable things to rise in the ranks. Now with Kowalski part of the equation, seeing all these Jewish men, women and children locked up was not sitting right with him and he knew that he had to try something instead of being witness to an eventual massacre. Joining Claremont on this ride is George Evans who does a great job with his pencils, doing those who came before him proud. Standing on the sidelines throughout all of this is Death who interferes little except to taunt John which makes for a sort of buddy comedy at times though there is nothing that could even be called remotely funny in all of this. The book ends with Kowalski dying once more but happy in the fact that he did some good this time around but it does make the reader wonder just where Claremont will go next with the book.

4 out of 5

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