Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Recent War Comics Reading: Haunted Tank

While I think comics have a very respectable tradition in war stories, it is generally not my thing. However, I am also always curious about areas of comics I don't know much about and recently purchased Haunted Tank Showcase Vol. 2 new, as it was going at a very affordable price. It turns out the cheap price was probably due to a misprint on one of the pages where a page was printed twice, and then the correction glued on. I learned about the mistake here. , strangely on a Marvel Masterworks board.

While superheroes are just usually more my thing, I definitely recognize the excellence in storytelling with the art of Joe Kubert and Irv Novick, both of whom I always appreciate, and Russ Heath, who is fairly new to me. Robert Kanigher wrote all the stories. I'm quite familiar with him from his brilliantly nutty Metal Men and Wonder Woman. His Haunted Tank tales show how multi-faceted and complex he really was. Likely no story is going to get across what war is really like, but instant and brutal death on both sides of World War II accompany the travels of the Haunted Tank in North Africa. Jeb Stuart, the commander of the tank, receives cryptic warnings about his next battle from the ghost of a civil war general, but are these visions real or is Jeb cracking up? As well as a depiction of the trauma of being in the heat of battle, the reader gets a sense of the weariness and isolation of soldiers.


LissBirds said...

I love the Kanigher Metal Men...I didn't know he wrote Haunted Tank, too.

I'm not big on war stories comics, and not sure if I'd like this. I'd probably like Blackhawk, though.

And wasn't Haunted Tank on Batman: The Brave and the Bold recently?

Aaron said...

He was definitely a varied talent.

I might not have gotten it had it not been for the cheap price, as it is I only read it every so often, so I'm still in the middle of the book. Blackhawk interests me, especially Lady Blackhawk, she just seems neat.

Batman: B&B may have had Haunted Tank, unfortunately I'm behind on watching that great show!