Walking Wounded #1

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Walking Wounded #1 Writer(s): Chris Denton
Artist(s): Steven Denton
Publishers: Massacre for Boys
From: UK
Price: US$ 3.95 / UK 2.50

I think that we are all agreed that the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi, but what about when they won’t stay dead? The Denton brothers give us such a scenario in this boy’s own adventure. It follows a World War II platoon made up of soldiers whose injuries and physique would usually make them unfit for duty, however their bravery and deadly skills make them ideal for the tough assignments. In this book they are sent to Bundy Island to the deal with a planeload of Nazis who have set up a beachhead. What seems like a normal commando operation escalates as the Nazis unleash their secret weapon a bunch of stinking dead Nazis.

The mix presented here of war film and zombie gore feast make for a very entertaining read. Chris has created a cast of interesting characters especially with a couple of eccentric and ineffectual Nazis who made me laugh; one who cannot be bothered keeping his close on, and another who really really enjoys pain. Touches such as this helped lift the story out of a simple minded action piece that it could so easily have been. The back stories of the walking wounded troop members also reflect a sense of humour, such as when we learn that someone’s sweetheart death was due to an accident with an ironing board.

Steven’s artwork makes light work of the setting and the machine of war in the story, but the drawing of the characters exhibit an occasional awkwardness in facial expression and posture. Of course this sort of thing can be overlooked in respect of zombies who shouldn’t really be a lifelike, but the living needed just a few touch ups. Still Steve’s detailed style gives events a realistic one, and he uses some interesting panel compositions to present events from some interesting points of view.

This comic won me over from an initial apprehension that it would be a dire “war is hell but we love it” read. The action steps along at a nice pace, the dialogue is amusing, the humour black. The book isn’t deep and it is in no way a meditation on the meaning of life, just a bunch of men shooting the enemy and dealing with loss. World War II may be becoming a fading memory but the Dentons celebrate the heroics.

In a Word: Attack! .

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