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Enemy Ace Archives Vol. 1 [Hardcover]

Bob Kanigher , Joe Kubert
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 2002 DC Archive Editions
ENEMY ACE ARCHIVES VOL. 1 collects the earliest tales of Hansvon Hammer, the greatest fighter pilot of World War I. Utilizing superbcharacterization, these elegantly crafted stories offer an intriguing andrare look at war by presenting it through the eyes of "the enemy." Althougha German soldier, Enemy Ace must still struggle with the agony of survivaland the senseless deaths of young men. This book shows that war is notsimply good guys versus bad guys but instead human versus human.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting beginning to a unique character Jan. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
This volume, along with "The Sgt. Rock Archives", reprints excellent work by the team of Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. What is particularly astounding about both volumes is that each contain a level of maturity and depth not found in the DC Comics super-hero line at that time (which is not to say those stories are without value). While it is not quite as sophisticated as the stories being told in comics today, both Rock and Enemy Ace tell riveting and complex stories in the war milleu. Enemy Ace is particularly daring, telling the story of a WWI German pilot, and bringing a great sense of moral ambiguity to the procedings.
The key attraction of the Enemy Ace is the depth of Hans von Hammer. He's a skilled fighter and killer, without equal, and so, he is a loner. But above all else, he is a man of duty: to his fatherland, to his men, and to himself. His trophies mean nothing, the opinions of his commrades in arms mean nothing. Only his duty. It's this sense of duty that allows us to sympathize with this otherwise enigmatic soldier, whose only friend is a wolf in the Black Forest.
There are many touches which help bring the character to life. The almost chivalric code that pilots live by, with the loser falling to his death while saluting the victor, for example, bring the war into focus. As does the violence. Now, this isn't "Saving Private Ryan" of course, but Kubert and Kanigher do make it plain that the life of a pilot is nasty, brutish, and short, even for a good one. Hammer live under a very real threat of death everytime he takes to the skies. And Hammer knows this, making him that much more human.
What is particularly interesting about this volume is there is a certain level of repetition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The first of its kind. Dec 21 2002
Format:Hardcover
Enemy Ace was the first character of its kind in comics. Telling the story of a war from the point of view of the foe. However that statment is kind of overplayed as usually the German Hans von Hammer was fighting the French or British. In this volume you will not see him against any American.
The idea of one who's main focus is duty is a powerful one. Von Hammer is a character that can't one can't help but respect. the stories are fine and the art is first rate.
We see only the first glimpse of what later issues will bring on the agony of survival and the inability to protect the young unready men thrown against the foe.
The origional issues are still cheep enough the you can get them for less than the price of this book, however I still favor the Hardcover which will last a lifetime of reading.
And that's what stories are for.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it but probably won't get another volume July 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend buying this volume if you love comics and originality. Alot was put into it and yet, after reading the whole volume one realizes that probably there were or should have been limits to chivalry. Sometimes a bit silly. Still the character is extremely compelling and the art work/research that went into it, I did not regret my purchase at all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting beginning to a unique character Jan. 30 2003
By Ian Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This volume, along with "The Sgt. Rock Archives", reprints excellent work by the team of Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. What is particularly astounding about both volumes is that each contain a level of maturity and depth not found in the DC Comics super-hero line at that time (which is not to say those stories are without value). While it is not quite as sophisticated as the stories being told in comics today, both Rock and Enemy Ace tell riveting and complex stories in the war milleu. Enemy Ace is particularly daring, telling the story of a WWI German pilot, and bringing a great sense of moral ambiguity to the procedings.
The key attraction of the Enemy Ace is the depth of Hans von Hammer. He's a skilled fighter and killer, without equal, and so, he is a loner. But above all else, he is a man of duty: to his fatherland, to his men, and to himself. His trophies mean nothing, the opinions of his commrades in arms mean nothing. Only his duty. It's this sense of duty that allows us to sympathize with this otherwise enigmatic soldier, whose only friend is a wolf in the Black Forest.
There are many touches which help bring the character to life. The almost chivalric code that pilots live by, with the loser falling to his death while saluting the victor, for example, bring the war into focus. As does the violence. Now, this isn't "Saving Private Ryan" of course, but Kubert and Kanigher do make it plain that the life of a pilot is nasty, brutish, and short, even for a good one. Hammer live under a very real threat of death everytime he takes to the skies. And Hammer knows this, making him that much more human.
What is particularly interesting about this volume is there is a certain level of repetition. Kanigher was clearly taking his time and finding his way in developing his character, trying to make him work. Thus, we often read variations of the same dialog and themes for much of the volume. Towards the end, Kanigher seems to have gotten hold of the character, as there is a great deal of confidence, and the repetition deminishes. I note this not as a complaint, but with intrigue.
Hopefully, DC will continue publishing volumes of Enemy Ace. While I love the "Big Gun" character, some lesser characters, like the Enemy Ace, offer great storytelling as well, if not better in some cases. This volume is a testiment to that fact.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first of its kind. Dec 21 2002
By Peter Ingemi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Enemy Ace was the first character of its kind in comics. Telling the story of a war from the point of view of the foe. However that statment is kind of overplayed as usually the German Hans von Hammer was fighting the French or British. In this volume you will not see him against any American.
The idea of one who's main focus is duty is a powerful one. Von Hammer is a character that can't one can't help but respect. the stories are fine and the art is first rate.
We see only the first glimpse of what later issues will bring on the agony of survival and the inability to protect the young unready men thrown against the foe.
The origional issues are still cheep enough the you can get them for less than the price of this book, however I still favor the Hardcover which will last a lifetime of reading.
And that's what stories are for.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Volume Tastefully Executed With Quality Materials Aug. 9 2011
By William D. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was extremely pleased with this archival edition of The Enemy Ace. Other reviews posted here discuss the stories contained within this edition, but I want to comment on the quality of the materials used. This edition is beautifully executed with top quality paper and inks. The colors are vibrant and really showcase the beautiful artwork that is a hallmark of this series. Considering that this series was printed on cheap comic book paper when originally issued, this is probably the first time that these stories have been executed the way that they deserve. The cover is made from a beautiful simulated leather and the volume contains a short forward by the artist, Joe Kubert.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars world war one air combat comic style Jan. 5 2011
By Michael Dobey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This series had alot going for it , stories by the great prolific writer Robert Kanigher (RIP) and art by the great Joe Kubert.
They manage to capture that lost era of the air knights very well. Many of these early stories are similiar perhaps with the tormented german ace Von Hammer battling expertly drawn enemy air machines and the code of fighting that men had during the war is even aptly expressed. I do question though the idea that the other airmen would be calling him a killing machine and avoiding him, instead they would probably cling near him hoping that his skill and luck would help them survive. Still this was groundbreaking stuff, having a story about German ace who is killing allied airmen in combat. But as nasty as ww1 was people often had a stronger moral code at least in the airwar. This didn't apply to the German army when they attacked Belgium in the start of the war though. A blot on them that they later didn't repeat thankfully. What does ring true is the feeling many airmen had during the war that few would survive the fighting and that was actually the case. With seven out of ten dying in their burning aircraft, they wore no parachutes and this made death more certain for so many good flyers on both sides. Even the Red Baron; on whom this character is based on somewhatdid not survive the war. The stories do have some back story on our Prussian hero, and his upbringing that helps explain his situation. The german society at that time was extremely militaristic and martial in many ways which lead to further disasters in the second world war for everyone else. That is not to say that the military is a bad thing but their society was teaching blind obediance to the military in this period. Von Hammer's father was such a man to be sure. You also get the early excellent Hangman stories here, ( the French ace whom Von Hammer must face) the best thing here is that they reconstructed the art so it looks great. Unlike the shoddy later dc archives in which they just copied some comic book page and it's all faded and looks bad. So it's a top notch effort here. VOlume two is even better imo but this is the place to start with the great character, a lone wolf fighting man of the airwar.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just like going through the old comics! June 1 2014
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just like going through the old comics only on better paper with brighter colors. I guess that makes this better than the originals.
If you're a fan of this series then you'll love this. But, being honest, there is a certain lack of variety in the stories and the character especially that was not apparent when spread out through the occasional comic. Read one after the other it shows. I fear that's why the down check from 5 stars.
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