It also needs to be said that, with a few notable exceptions like Sgt. Rock and The Unknown Solider, I have little interest in most war comics.
A note on authorship: I much prefer co-credits to the isolated credits seen here. Brooks is given primary credit. White is credited as "illustrated by". A more equitable listing would be something to the effect of "by Max Brooks (writer) and Caanan White (illustrator)". I dislike either creator taking a secondary role.
I had no interest in Brooks' earlier writings on zombies. Aside from the Simon Garth stories from Marvel in the 70s, Val Lewton's classic I Walked With A Zombie, and The Walking Dead (both the series and the comic), I could not care less about zombies. I'm not familiar with Caanan White's other significant work, Uber, but given the strength of the art here, I'll check it out.
As to this book, it engages the reader on every level. The writing is frank and unapologetic, presenting the racism of the 1910s (as opposed to the racism of every time since) without comment. The language used about blacks is harsh and presented without hedging.
|Out of print CD compilation of Major Europe recordings|
Even with the ultimate defeat implicit in the ending, as the Harlem Hellfighters return home to some of the worst treatment of blacks in American history, the book feels like a triumph. Possibly this is because they DID return home, after fighting for a country they loved, one that, needless to say, didn't always love them back.
Next: Best Comics of 2014, No. 6, a series prone to serenity.