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Garth Ennis Loves Superheroes and Soldiers and Lesbians

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JohnMcMahon    593

Comixology were selling all of The Boys dirt cheap there recently so decided I might as well indulge and...well...it's actually quite good once you get past the horrible opening issues and Garth's puerile sense of humour. To be fair on that, I actually chuckled quite a bit during the Super Duper arc.

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JohnMcMahon    593

As was probably readily apparent from the number of comics he's written on the subject, Ennis is a total fucking war nerd - his intros to the Johnny Red trades are quite funny in that context. He writes these loving paragraphs to the creative teams, living and dead but then can't resist highlighting some of the things they 'got wrong' in this story about a 17 year old British boy who ends up leading a Russian fighter squadron during WW2! Touch of the John Byrne about him, sort of!

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JohnMcMahon    593

Sticking to War Nerd Ennis, Night Witches was a fantastic read - picked up the rest of Ennis' Battlefields stuff off the back of it.

 

First Red Team trade is pretty good, would make a decent first half-season of a TV show.

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JasonT    455
Dear Billy...that was just a little grim.

 

It sure was, but it struck me as one of the best things he's written.

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JohnMcMahon    593

Absolutely, a very strong piece and one that certainly left an impression - it's a testament to his talents that Garth can swing so wildly between genres and tone. Finished up the Battlefields stuff he did at Dynamite, adored this homage cover to the old Battle comic.

 

battlefields.jpg

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JohnMcMahon    593

Garth doesn't seem capable of writing a bad war story so I'm sure this'll be ace - not 100% convinced that his platoon will make it to the end of the story though!

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JasonT    455

January's issue of War Stories, #26, was the final one. I only learned this today.

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Lou K    1,092

I had let that one go, perhaps in favor of trades, after you pointed out to me that he artwork really was not that good.

On the contrary...

I thoroughly enjoyed War is Hell: First Flight of the Phantom Eagle with excellent work by Garf and Howard Chaykin. Classic Garf: good characterization, harrowing action scenes, victory, loss, and the odd joke about buggering. Well worth a look.

Also on the contrary... 

The follow up to this one, Where Monsters Dwell, was the other Garf. Kaufmann finds himself trapped on an island full of dinosaurs and lesbians that want to chop his dick off. So...yeah...

 

 

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Christian    791

How the hell did Ennis go so very wrong on Where Monsters Dwell? It was the perfect idea for a fun romp....instead, it was like Ennis got caught up on the idea of lesbians, like he had never fucking heard of the concept before, and it amused him so much that he needed to make the whole series about this crazy idea of lesbianism. Dear lord.

Phantom Eagle was quite good though.

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JohnMcMahon    593

Garth loves a 'good' Lesbian story, it's almost amazing how rubbish his sense of humour can be when taken in the context of just how strong a lot of his work is.  

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JohnMcMahon    593

You can see him working through those issues in Kev, HIS character arc over that series of minis is quite inspiring.

On a related note I read his two Bloody Mary stories last night, in the first he orders a guy be confined with homosexual rapists, which is hi-larious.

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I feel The Boys, like Preacher, is very much is an encapsulation of everything good and bad about Garth as a writer.

One page he has a touching character moment, but then on the very next page he has some guy f*cking a giant meat statue or a superhero pissing themselves.

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JohnMcMahon    593

A spot on summary of the series, yes!  It's bloody frustrating as the human moments are so good but the other two-thirds is such juvenile toss that it's really not worth sticking with.  That said it does remain consistent throughout and the ending's pretty good so now I'm contradicting myself!

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dogpoet    490

I find it hard to avoid feeling that the Boys emphasises the crappy stuff over Garf's strong points as a writer, myself, while Preacher, taken as a whole, didn't.

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I'm usually a pretty big Garth supporter, but I could only make it through the first trade of The Boys.  It was certainly okay, just not enough to make me want to read more.  He does tend to swing wildly between mediocre and great, his two Ghost Rider minis with Clayton Crain were perfect evidence of that.  "Road to Damnation" was everything I don't like about his writing while "Trail of Tears" was fantastic.

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I'd rank Punisher as # 1, more so the MAX run with Goran Parlov and Leandro Fernandez.  Those are some incredible comics.  Preacher would fall at # 2, then probably Hellblazer.  Amazingly, I have never read Hitman.

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