Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Keith Burns
Release Date: 10 August 2016
Messrs Ennis and Burns, you sure know how to make someone wait for a payoff, don’t you? It’s been almost three months since the last issue cliffhanger, and I’ve really wanted to know how this was going to end.
Just a quick recap, in case you’ve missed anything. Johnny Redman is a Scouser who has found himself flying a Hawker Hurricane on the frontline in Russia. In this series we have followed him as he he;s disobeyed orders, battled enemy and ally alike and even come face to face with Hitler.
As I mentioned earlier, the previous issue ended on a cliffhanger with an NKVD officer holding a machine gun on Johnny and his three compatriots. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that Johnny’s redemption here comes from a very unlikely source.
The World War Two storyline runs through to a more than satisfactory ending here, and as Ennis brings us back to the modern day, to the story of the restoration of Johnny’s Hurricane, he hits us right in the feels. Hard! It’s a magnificently told tale which left me with goosebumps as Ennis explores the motivation of the Russian pilots, and the reasons why they fought in the first place. It’s obvious that Ennis has been working to this from issue one.
Now, what can I say about Keith Burns’ art that I haven’t said before? Not a lot really, so I guess I’ll just say something that I have said before. It’s awesome. Burns takes his magnificent skills in painting aircraft and renders them beautifully in sequential form. His figure work has a lovely scratchy feel which hearkens back to the heady days of Battle, Victor and Hotspur. It’s truly sublime.
This final chapter succeeds in fulfilling the promise of the preceding seven. Ennis and Burns are at the height of their powers here, transporting us to a time of unimaginable horror, providing sympathy for the source material and adding some thoroughly modern panache. Bravo.
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