Aftershock Comics 2016
Created & Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Simon Coleby
Coloured by John Kalisz
Lettered by Rob Steen
In the skies above the Nazi capital, the men of the 332nd fight their ultimate battle, assuring their place in history for all time. But back home in the US a violent welcome awaits, and Reggie and Fats discover the terrible cost of progress. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen is not one all Americans can accept…
Dammit all to hell! I swear to you I finished this issue and was about ready to ball my eyes out. I still think I might. I’ve never been as moved by a story as I have been by this one. Yes it’s about race and equality, hardship and fighting for what you believe in. However there’s one thing here that goes so much further beyond that and it’s when the son teaches the father a lesson and the bond they form through it that’s irreplaceable. There’s a moment when Reggie understands his son in a way he never did before and realizes his own fears and thinking are what’s been holding him back from that. It’s one of the most chilling, goosebumps, poignant moments i’ve ever experienced in comics.
The history of the Tuskegee Airmen and how they broke the military colour barrier the way they did how that relates to life around WWII, then how that translates to his son and the message of Dr. King which still resonates and is sorely in what is happening in the world today cannot be expressed in mere words. There’s a power in storytelling, be it historical, fiction or historical fiction that can touch the soul and enlighten the mind and change attitudes and Garth has written one such story here.
Black, White, Red or Yellow, male or female, gay or straight, regardless of the religion you practice the story is written in such a way that regardless of who you are or how you identify it’s so relatable to your own personal history. The fight to be who you are, to change the world in ways that you can and to alway honour and remember those who came before you. Leading by example or by the examples given by others, sharing your story and being open to listen to another’s it doesn’t take much but we’ve forgotten so much.
In the next award season if this doesn’t win every damn available category it could be nominated for there is no justice in the universe. There’s no bond like that between a parent and a child any parent can tell you that and to see both of these men, and by the end of the story with its characterization they are both men, see each other in a new light for the first time in their lives being able to really understand each other and it’s a marvelous moment.
Simon brings every ounce of talent he has to make the feelings hit the reader as powerfully as the words do. From the WWII uniforms and the resignation they feel fighting over the skies of Germany. To encountering southern rednecks and finally the breakdown of understand between father and son he delivers work that hit’s you in the soul. With John’s colours the two just have hit this synergy through the flow, attention to detail through angles and perspective that leave your emotions raw.
Doesn’t matter who you are what you believe and where you are in life, This is required reading for everyone!