Writer(s): Garth Ennis.
Artist(s): Steve Epting.
Colour Artist(s): Elizabeth Breitweiser.
Letterer(s): Rob Steen.
Publisher: TKO Studios.
Release Date: December 11th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Fantasy.
My Overall Rating:
War often demands an unequivocal loyalty towards your country from its soldiers. Indoctrinated to do everything in their power to foil an enemy’s plans to invade, there is little room for selfish desires under such pretenses. However, every single person is burdened by their own understanding of ongoing events, of their own individual history with war, and of their own desire for justice. Writer Garth Ennis (Punisher, Preacher, The Boys), artist Steve Epting (Captain America, Velvet), and colourist Elizabeth Breitweiser (Batman, Outcast, Kill or Be Killed) join forces to deliver an astounding World War II tale exploring the ruthless predicament of an all-female sniper battalion confronted to the raw truth regarding armed conflicts and the governing state.
What is Sara about? In the year 1942, Russia is occupied by Nazis. During the second winter of the siege of Leningrad, seven women snipers are gathered together in an effort to shut down marching German invaders. Among them is Sara, the deadliest shot in the squadron, capable of unleashing a strategically sound execution without any remorse whatsoever. In the midst of this freezing war, no life is safe with death prowling under the blanket of snow. With Sara fighting her own inner demons, having lived through a terrible emotional ordeal as a result of this war, it is up to her to find a reason to fight that goes beyond what her comrades believe in and what they are willing to do for their country.
“For the Motherland, I used to say. The rest still do. Believers all. ‘Rina as a matter of faith. Lydi with all her brave young heart. Vera growls it aloud with every shot. For the Motherland. I recall the flare of warmth it brought, the comfort on each step through hell. But those days are behind me now. The words I need I cannot speak. To accompany a bullet I can never fire.”— Garth Ennis
Writer Garth Ennis delivers a remarkably poignant story through Sara. In this self-contained event, he swiftly explores the psychological state of mind of actively participating soldiers and captures the bone-chilling circumstances that represent their reality. Not only does he succinctly portray the frightening context of war, but he also defines the political landscape through authentic characters who each justify differently their raison d’être and embrace their fate as pawns of war with varying fervour. He also juggles both past and present narrative threads with fascinating ease, allowing him to brilliantly build up all the brewing turmoil in Sara that ultimately leads her to become the cold-blooded, meticulous, and resolute protagonist of this story.
Artist Steve Epting also elevates the game with his exquisite art. While perfectly drawing Sara’s passive-aggressiveness whose own personal trauma scarred her into a merciless assassin who doesn’t show a hint of emotion, he also does an incredible job in penciling the rest of his characters, effortlessly displaying a whole spectrum of emotions. The rough environmental conditions are also flawlessly designed, whether it’s debris or snow, there isn’t a moment throughout the story where the reader isn’t reminded of the brutal nature of their lives during this period. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colouring also merits equal praise, gorgeously transforming the visual medium with masterful shading and fantastic colour-coordinated hues.
Sara is a narratively and visually striking World War II tale featuring an all-women sniper squad and the complex and grim conflict they face.