One Mad Dog

[Darkie’s Mob: The Secret War of Joe Darkie – HC] – (John Wagner, Mike Western)
June 3, 2011, 6:42 am
Filed under: 9 stars, John Wagner, Mike Western

This hardcover volume collects the entire series of Darkie’s Mob WW2 strips from the British boys war comic BATTLE.  It is the story of a group of British soldiers fighting a campaign of guerilla warfare against the Japanese in Burma under the command a renegade Captain Joe Darkie.  As this strip first appeared in the 1970’s it isn’t very politically correct in terms of language but at the same time it is entirely appropriate for the time. Garth Ennis does a great job of discussing the language used in Darkie’s Mob in his lengthy introduction.

The book is hard hitting physiological war story that really works well as a collected volume. It keeps the reader guessing about the true nature of Joe Darkie right up until the last story.  The Secret War doesn’t try to glamorize or soften this particularly gruesome period of World War 2 and it is inevitable that it will offend some readers.  John Wagner is better known for co creating Judge Dredd but this is some of his best writing and should be a welcome addition to any British Comic fans library.

Mike Western’s black and white art is lovingly reproduced in this collection and probably looks better now than when it was drawn back in the 70’s. Mike does a really good job of capturing both action and emotion in the characters and I really enjoyed the art.

Darkies Mob is a well written, engaging story with first rate comic art and  great presentation. It has one of the best introductions Garth Ennis has written and some nice extras too. A must buy for fans of war comics like “Charlie’s War” and dare I say 2000AD’s “BAD COMPANY” that surely must have been influenced by this. ISBN-13: 978-1848564428. 9/10