Monday, February 05, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: Who Fighter With Heart of Darkness

Writer/Artist: Seiho Takizawa
Company: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $11.95

Promising weird war tales, I was looking forward to reading Who Fighter, especially when I saw that it also included an adaptation of "Heart of Darkness," the novel on which Apocalypse Now was based. Not that I have any huge fondness for the novel or the movie (I haven't read the former nor seen much of the latter, although it's on my list to watch someday), but it was an interesting idea. As it turns out, while Who Fighter is plenty readable, it never fully engaged me. Takizawa has a love for historical detail, but at the same time he assumes his reader already knows the history, and as someone who doesn't follow military history, I didn't really know any of it. The first story is the best, about a Japanese pilot who runs afoul of alien technology, but it never really got into truly creepy or mind-blowing territory like I was hoping, playing out more or less along expected lines. "Heart of Darkness" is interesting, but lacks the edge of madness that I always picked up from Apocalypse Now, making it a bit bland. And the last story, a 8-pager about tank warfare, doesn't really have an impact either. All of these have nice artwork, particularly the impressively detailed tanks, planes and other technology of war, but the stories never connect.

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