Garth Ennis’ Battlefields: The Green Fields Beyond #1 Review

The latest series from Garth Ennis kicks off here, but is it a strong literary achievement or the continuation of a franchise that needs to end?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

On the killing fields of Korea the Tankies find themselves back up the sharp end, as veteran Sergeant Stiles is finally given a tank that can take on any opposition. Unfortunately, the Chinese spring offensive of 1951 is on its way- leaving our heroes cut off, on their own and outnumbered ten to one. It’s British steel against massed Communist hordes, as the last Battlefields series begins with a bang.

It’s a strikingly strong first issue that deals out some hefty dialogue, solid character development and a strong enough cliffhanger to guarantee a look from curious readers.  What we have in our hands is not a perfect tale but one that works with just enough angles to successfully entertain its core audience.

Garth Ennis by this point in his career is a master storyteller, and it really shows in this release.  He absolutely engulfs his audience in history while offering some spectacular back stories that bleed into some strikingly poignant themes.  This may be a comic book focusing on a select war, but its willingness to attack the costs of conflict on the soldiers that serve offers a not-so-subtle connection to our own modern society.  From the opening page description to the cliffhanger, you will be entertained but also captivated from some of its highbrow concepts.

Carlos Ezquerra handles the art and the final results somewhat match the quality of the narrative.  He expertly weaves expressions from the faces to intense conversations while allowing the backgrounds themselves to act as characters in this jungle romp.  The simplified but sturdy amount of detail on display here works, but there are moments where the style comes off as a bit too deformed ultimately yielding some rather unpleasant visuals.

Garth Ennis’ Battlefields: The Green Fields Beyond #1 is solid first issue with a lot of promise.  Recommended.


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