DC Universe Holiday Special ’09 (Enemy Ace)
Writers – Seamus Kevin Fahey & Sean Fahey
Art – Howard Chaykin
Colors – Edgar Delgado
Letters – John J. Hill
Editors – Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Welcome to Day 2 (of 2) of our War-Themed Christmas Coverage! These stories have a bit of a pattern of behavior, in that they’re far more peaceful than our usual Blood ‘n Metal War Comics Fare. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that this one will be just like that.
We open on Christmas Eve… Eve, and the year is… hmm, 1914. Feel like we’ve referred to that particular Christmas a time or two before here. One time in particular while talking about the very same fella we’re going to look at here! The long and short of it is, General Werner Dietrich has concluded that the next big German offensive will happen on Christmas Day. The Men aren’t pleased in the slightest… but don’t dare speak up. After the meeting a Lieutenant named Eric sidles up to Von Hammer to get his thoughts on the matter. Our Enemy Ace is steadfast that “orders are orders”…
In the day leading up to the attack, Von Hammer is questioned a few more times by his peers… and his answer remains the same. They have orders… it’s not theirs to wonder why. Before we know it, it’s Christmas Day… and the German fighters are sent west to get the jump on the English and French.
Enemy Ace and Company fly over some European wasteland as our man laments the fact that just five short months ago, this was a peaceful place. As they near their destination… they can suddenly hear something quite strange… they hear, singing?!
It’s the English and French… they’re singing Christmas Carols at Von Hammer and the Gang! And so, the Germans come in for a landing… to share in an unsanctioned Christmas ceasefire with their fellow European Soldiers.
What’s that thing… ya know, where you learn about something, or are reminded of something you hadn’t thought of in quite some time… but then, it’s like everywhere you look, it’s all you can see? Is that a thing? I could’a sworn it was one’a those literary “biases” you’d learn about in undergrad English and Lit classes.
Whatever it’s called… that’s what I’ve got right now. I honestly wasn’t expecting to see a direct reference to the Christmas Truce/Ceasefire of 1914 here! It’s funny how stuff like that happens!
Enemy Ace is certainly a complex character… I’m not sure I could read him in “large doses”, however, for these little stories I find him quite captivating. A loyal soldier who follows orders without question… even when he has reservations about what he’s being asked to do. There’s definitely story potential in that… and for this story in particular, it works quite well. Really come away from this one with a deeper appreciation of War Comics… though, I’m still not overly anxious to do a deeper dive.
Something weird I noticed here is… Howard Chaykin on art. Not that Chaykin in and of himself is weird… what’s weird is, this is the very first time we’re talking about him on this blog! It’s been four years of daily discussion… and somehow Howard Chaykin has never come up! That’s weird! I do want to state for the record that I loved his art here! I feel like it matched the tone of the story and really added a lot to the overall package!
Tomorrow: Wouldja believe… B’Wana Beast?!