Sledgehammer 44: Lightning War #2 Review

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Our burgeoning hero starts to find his footing, but is it too late for him to do any good?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dark Horse:

The iron soldier known as Sledgehammer is the only one who can lead a rescue mission of a kidnapped American about to spill top-secret information on the Flying Wing warplane to the Nazis and their own supersoldier—the Black Flame!

Sledgehammer 44-Lightning War 2_CIt goes without saying that this property has some weird stuff in it.  From the villains to the main character’s origins there’s a lot to digest but somewhere beneath the hard exterior beats the heart of an every-man.  And that’s what the creative team captures, as they embrace a primary that’s been pushed into situations before but now finally decides to act on his own.  It’s a wonderful thing as this release impresses from the first panel to the final page.

Mike Mignola and John Arcudi work together to bring about some interesting elements.  This is a fine piece of fiction that sees a hero on the birth of his own self discovery.  We’ve seen what the suit can do, but now it’s time for the soul within to come to terms with, not only what he is but what he can yet be.  It’s an interesting dynamic that makes the trip more than worthwhile even though he’s contending with some paper-thin villains.  It’s an engaging romp that sees plenty of surprises before it reaches a crossroads.

The art by Laurence Campbell melds with the text.  From the dramatic start to the strangely satisfying closing there’s a lot to admire here.  I especially enjoyed how the talent was able to yield such style while not loosing his own consistency.  But lost in the visual dance is the emotional undertones of several of the players, sure they’re cool looking, but because of their design there’s a hefty amount of reliance on the written word.  In short: the pictures therein do what they need to do.

Sledgehammer 44: Lightning War #1 is a really good issue that proves its worth despite any minor limitations.  Recommended.



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