Sara vol 1
A female Russian sniper fights to avenge her family in one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, the Eastern front of what the Russians would eventually call the Great Patriotic War. Sara, an insanely talented and prolific sniper, finds herself pitted against enemy forces, including an expert sniper of their own. Will she outsmart her foe or will she just end up another frozen corpse in the white North?
Let me start by saying this trade paperback is the first of what i hope will be many from new publisher TKO Studios, and is in an oversized format comparable to somewhere between a DC Absolute Edition and a standard (current age) single issue. (Pictured below) Paper is non glossy but still nice, similar to what DC uses in their single issues but a little less shiny. The binding is tight and feels sturdy and the cover material has a high quality feel to it. This is a nice book, I can see why they sent out physical copies. I might have liked to see maybe a small covers gallery or any kind of material on their other books in the back, but other than that the book is physically top notch.
I will confess that this is my first Garth Ennis war comic and I was very pleasantly surprised at the lack of wang jokes and nudity (kinda joking). This is a fairly straightforward story about a young sniper and her day to day life in Western Russia cutting down German troops for the Fatherland. Strangely almost as much a slice of life tale as a war story I can see this translating to film really well. If I have one complaint, I do feel like the story took a little while to get going, which would upset me were this a monthly bookt but thepoint may be moot as TKO releases entire minis at once which almost completely alleviates complaints about decompressed storytelling (writing for the trade). The story did pickup really well around part 3 and stayed strong until the end. I did also note a bit of misogyny but the book does take place in the early 40s so it’s understandable.
The art (pencils and inks) by the legendary ultra talented Steve Epting is perfect, I loved his ability to communicate emotion and tension everywhere from meals and meetings to the heat of battle. Weapons and armor (tanks and such) look amazingly accurate. One nitpick is I feel the girls don’t have enough personality at times to easily tell them apart unless they’re up close, although that is the point of a military uniform I supposet– takewhat you will from it. I really liked the opposing setting of Sara in training contrasted against the frigid Soviet Winter.
On colors, frequent Sean Phillips/ Ed Brubaker collaborator Elizabeth Breitweiser (last seen coloring over Lee Weeks in the Cold Days arc of Batman) really knocks it out of the park in this series, which could easily have been mired in tones of gray and white given its winter setting. Even in frozen wartime, a rosy cheek, the blue of a frozen corpse, a muzzle flash, an explosion, all rendered perfectly. Beautiful work.
To read the first issue of this and the other series TKO has to offer visit https://tkopresents.com for more details pick up a copy today!
A really fun story for fans of War comics or well done art. Highly recommended.
Sara vol 1: A Winter in Leningrad
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
User Review( votes)