It’s 1943. The Germans are making another push into Russia after defeat at Stalingrad. The Russians are prepared. Both factions are building up their column of tanks. The Germans are loaded with their Tiger tanks and new mark of Panther tanks. The Russians are stuck with British Matilda’s. Their air support is harassing one another, marking the approaching bloodshed.
Garth Ennis doesn’t disappoint with World of Tanks: Citadel #1. The comic is loaded with interesting characters and palpable tension as the battle approaches. Piotr and Ginger are the main characters on the side of the Russians. Karl Kraft and Friedrich Stadler are the duo for the Germans.
The characters are entertaining, and comic is a solid war narrative. It skirts outright villainizing the Germans, as it’s more interested in doing the whole “war is hell” number. It skirts any acknowledgement of the monsters leading each faction. Don’t expect any digression into the sociopolitical context of this whole thing.
That may bother some readers, and I totally get that. When fascists have goose-stepped their way back into western politics, it kinda sucks to see patient zero for Nazism as an empire full of normal people in addition to the monsters. That said, treating both factions equally in this comic book allows for the reader to get attached to both the Germans and the Russians. That will make the coming bloodshed in the remainder of World of Tanks: Citadel both more tense and tragic.
P. J. Holden’s artwork is a gritty style which focuses on the severe angles in facial structures and figures. It adds to the harsh atmosphere in which the comic takes place. Michael Atiyeh’s color work is a brown-centric palette that takes advantage of the grit and grime of the environment. There are more vibrant colors to liven up the book in spots, which is appreciated.
World of Tanks: Citadel #1 is a solid and engaging World War II story centering on tank crews and the Russian front. The book is paced well, has a solid sense of humor, and the characters are enjoyable. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
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