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Blood On Your Rusty Claws: Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #3!

Written by Tim Midura on Thursday, January 30 2014 and posted in Reviews

Blood On Your Rusty Claws: Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #3!

The stunning conclusion of Lightning War!

Concluding the latest arc, Dark Horse Comics releases Sledgehammer 44 Lightning War #3 this week. Co-written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, with art by Laurence Campbell, the cover recaps the fight-heavy last issue with The Black Flame and Sledgehammer 44 fighting and falling through the sky. 
The Allies are evacuating Major Elroy from the Nazis’ clutches, while Sledgehammer 44 tries to block The Black Flame from interfering. Their battle takes them to the brink of death and back, until Sledgehammer 44 makes a noble sacrifice to save Major Elroy. The issue ends gracefully, leaving the series open for more issues, but with even closure to cap it nicely. 
The majority of the issue involves fighting and when Mignola and Arcudi get a word in, it shines. The Black Flame feeds into Sledgehammer 44’s insecurities and guilt as he says, “All I want is you, turtle, just you surrender, and they live.” Describing his gravestone, Sledgehammer 44 says the classic line, “This chump trusted a skull-faced Nazi!” And, the best dialogue comes from The Black Flame’s speech regarding warriors and men.
Laurence Campbell’s character work is mostly vague and nondescript, while planes and Sledgehammer 44 are shown in greater detail. The panel transition of bones to metal armor is striking. Dave Stewart’s colors throughout are generally dark as the issue takes place mainly against the night sky and in the mud, but the last few pages let Stewart run amok inside Private Redding’s mind, as he blends bright colors with colder contrasts showcasing the stars in the night sky. 
The trade doesn’t come out until May, so to be able to see the valiant struggle of magic against technology via The Black Flame versus Sledgehammer 44, be sure to pick up this concluding issue!


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About the Author - Tim Midura

Born in the frozen tundra of Massachusetts, Tim Midura has long possessed a love for comic books and records. After stealing the beard of Zeus and inventing the pizza bagel, a much more heavily tattooed and bearded Tim Midura has finally settled in San Diego. He's the world's first comics journalist who doesn't want to become a comics writer. Find him on twitter, facebook or by email.

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