Adam Grano’s bold design cover design is the perfect complement to Fantagraphics’ comprehensive collection of the dead-by-the-time-it-hit-the-ground Warren war book helmed by Archie Goodwin with a stellar team of artists that included Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan. It’s remarkable how little these stories have aged, as many cover thematic ground that resonates to this day. The Joe Orlando-drawn opener “Viet Cong!” features a US military advisor confronted with an untenable war on foreign soil and a moral crisis that revolves around torture while “Survival” hammers home the devastation left after combat and the way it leaves civilian lives ruined. Even the more straightforward “war comics” that are presented in this volume have an unusual gravitas that fits naturally over the proceedings, making the stories collected stand out, and the interviews with Archie Goodwin and Jim Warren provide an in-depth and fascinating look at the pressures that the controversial comic magazine faced. Amazon has it for $16.49, an $8 savings off the cover price.
Special Bonus Feature
Pal Josh made a point of mentioning, sadly, that Blazing Combat was always going to be a more interesting comic than Peacetime Bliss and then illustrated said point because I demanded that he do so: