Sunday, 23 August 2015
A Puppy Named Schatzi
Dog lovers look away now. They say the first casualty of war is innocence. In actual fact, it's a cute little puppy named Schatzi, but they probably couldn't get that on the posters.
This is probably the best known Enemy Ace story, as a tiny chink of hope and sunlight enters the tortured existence of perennial gloom merchant Hans Von Hammer.
With issue after issue of Von Hammer bemoaning the futility of war, it feels quite weird seeing him happy and smiling in this tale, but just as he knows he's destined to die in flames over no man's land, we know that The Hammer Of Hell's rose tinted future with his new best friend is doomed, even if we hadn't seen the cover.
He even introduces Schatzi to his only other friend and Harbinger of Death, the mysterious black wolf in the forest. A sure sign that the little guy isn't about to get his own back-up strip.
Amazingly, Luck Is A Puppy Named Schatzi isn't cheesy and cloying, mostly due to tough guy Joe Kubert's unflinching art with the superbly researched aerial battles, Von Hammer's hopeful, doomed expressions and Schatzi's final, awful fate.
War, is indeed, hell for puppy's.