Drones #1 (review)
(IDW Publishing, April 2015)
Writer: Chris Lewis
War comics have a long pedigree. American publishers have been periodically obsessed with the US Civil War and its aftermath (Western-themed comic books), the best example of which perhaps is DC Comics’ title Jonah Hex (1977-1985, 2006-2011). From there, we have World War One and the unusual title, Enemy Ace (DC Comics, first appearance 1965) which was an homage to the famous German pilot known as the Red Baron. World War Two titles have been published in abundance, including DC Comics’ Sgt Rock (first appearance, 1959) and Marvel Comics’ Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos (1963-1981). British war comic book title Commando has been published since 1961 by DC Thompson & Co, and is approaching its 5000th issue. The Vietnam War was the subject of a Marvel Comics’ publication called The ‘Nam (1986-1993). Missing from this list of recent-ish wars is the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Spanish-American War and the Russo-Japanese War. each of which were extraordinarily significant but have escaped publishers’ memories.
This title is a war comic from this century, where war is waged at high altitude with high technology, destruction and fire delivered upon Arab insurgents upon remote and casual appraisal. The first to third and fifth pages of the issue capture this perfectly. It is a thoroughly contemporary war comic far removed from the grit of hand-to-hand or bayonet-led combat, or the noble air chivalry seen in Enemy Ace.