Enemy Ace: War in Heaven
Garth Ennis, writer,
Russ Heath, artist
(DC, 2001)

Hans von Hammer was a German flying ace in World War I. During that war, von Hammer was a killing machine who believed in his country's cause. But now, pulled from retirement to fly and fight again in World War II, he finds himself doubting the rightness of the side he is on. He fights because he's a fighter and because he won't abandon the German people, but he grows increasingly at odds with the Nazi leadership and its fanatical leader.

Enemy Ace: War in Heaven is an amazing book by Garth Ennis. It looks at a bloody war from an unusual perspective -- a German warrior who no longer is sure why he's fighting.

Moral issues aside, War in Heaven provides great visual scenes of aerial combat, pitting von Hammer's evolving red-painted fighter planes against the Russians, the British and, finally, the Americans who oppose him. But the real struggle is an internal one -- how long can von Hammer keep fighting for a cause he can no longer support? But how can he betray the German people he's sworn to protect? Does the killer have a conscience?

Anyone with a fondness for war stories, particularly in the air, should check this out. Ennis has done a grand job bringing the character of von Hammer into a later generation, and Russ Heath has supplied high-caliber art to illustrate the tale. Kudos!

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 4 July 2001

Buy it from Amazon.com.