SARA Writer: Garth Ennis Artist: Steve Epting Colorist: Elizabeth Breitweiser Letterer: Rob Steen Publisher: TKO Studios
When TKO Studios, first came out, they announced that they were here to change the way we read comics. So far they've done that, and more. With their binge release model, you now get a whole story at once (six individual issues, a TPB, or digitally). When they first announced their first wave of books, SARA stood out to me. I've always been a huge fan of Garth Ennis and Steve Epting. Then you tell me Elizabeth Breitweiser is coloring the book, just take my money now. I can tell you after reading this book, it far surpassed my expectations. This is a masterpiece, with these creators bringing their absolute best to the project. Not to mention the exquisite packaging by TKO.
SARA revolves around a team of female Russian snipers, sent to beat back Nazi forces during WW2 on the Eastern Front. The story is centered on Sara one of the snipers and how she goes from being a college student to a ruthless killer of Nazis. In true Garth Ennis fashion, he writes a wars story that's not so much about the war as it is about the people fighting them. We see the transformation of these women and the struggles they endure during this horrifying experience. Sara has accepted the reality of what they are fighting and after finding out her village has been destroyed, wants to nothing else but to kill as many Nazis as she can. She is written to perfection, watching as she explains how she's going to take out the enemy, is both methodical and genius.
Steve Epting's expert realism brings a depth and weight to this story that stays with you long after you read it. The way he conveys each emotion through the characters eyes is both haunting and beautiful. This is an artist at the top of his game, and it shows on every page. Elizabeth Breitweiser's coloring helps set the mood throughout the book. She can make the silence of the frozen world eerie and cold with her brilliant color skills.
Sara is such a well fleshed out character that watching her become this ruthless and efficient killer, you can't help but agree with her. She has become so corrupted by the war, that their isn't much left of her soul. This story isn't your average war book, it's so much more. This is a beautiful, yet tragic, story of how much a person can change when put through such strenuous circumstances. Ennis' superb script coupled with the exquisite art team of Epting and Breitweiser, make this book essential reading.
This book also makes me want to work my way through the rest of TKO's lineup of books. TKO is a great new publisher and after reading SARA, I can't recommend enough, that you check them out and support them. You won't regret it.