Publisher: Titan Comics
Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Keith Burns
Release Date: 25th May, 2016
If you’ve been following Johnny Red so far, or even if you have been reading my reviews so far, you should know that this is one classy act. Each issue appears to come with a guarantee of thoughtful reflection and kick ass action. And, I’m happy to report that issue seven is no different.
After Johnny’s run-in with the Wehrmacht (plus special guest – read the damn comic, it’s worth it!) in the last issue, he has managed to scupper Hitler’s and Stalin’s nefarious plans as well as come up with a strategy to save his beloved Falcons. Now he is back in action, battling the Luftwaffe.
Part of Johnny’s plan involved cajoling the “friendly” N.K.V.D. officer into believing it’s in his and Russia’s best interest that the Falcons get out of this scrape alive, and this is where the thoughtful reflection comes in. Ennis uses the weight of history to add gravitas to the pep talk that Johnny gives the N.K.V.D. man. The other part of the plan is to stay alive long enough to continue to take the fight to the enemy. This is the tricky part, and this is the part that Keith Burns renders sublimely. His figure work still takes me back to the good old Warlord days, but it’s his depictions of the aircraft, on the ground and in flight that make me truly giddy. The aircraft are alive, I tell you, alive. And it’s all because of the magic that Burns weaves with his pencil (magic wand?) I’ve said it before and here it comes again, these are exceptional works of art from an exceptional fine artist. It is a genuine privilege to see his work in the sequential art medium.
Ennis continues to present Johnny Redman as the everyday hero and in this issue he really pushes home how good Johnny is at what he does. Ennis has the German pilots reacting with horror and disbelief when they have to face Johnny, 200 miles behind their own lines. “How in the Name of God is he here.” and “Were screwed, were finished.” are a couple of the cry’s heard over the radio. These are elite pilots, likely with hundreds of kills between them, they are in superior aircraft (The Messerschmitt Me109) and they out number him 12 to 1. Yet they know the fear. They know that there aren’t enough of them and they know that Johnny is death incarnate. Ennis has made Johnny Redburn one of the coolest heroes in comics. He’s Han Solo, He’s Mal Reynolds. He shot first. He is an everyman hero.
Bravo Mr Ennis, and bravo Mr Burns. You have created a truly exceptional comic and I can’t wait for the climax next month.
Rating: Do you need to ask? 5/5.
If you want to find out more about Johnny Red, make sure to check out our interview with Garth Ennis and Keith Burns by CLICKING HERE.
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The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil