Saturday, January 26, 2013

Enemy Ace - Memorial Day - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1:  A Texas-style saloon.  We see the bar straight on, a couple of draft handles at the ready.  Two men approach empty bar stools.  The man approaching from the left wears the wide straw hat of a field hand, and his face is in the brim's shadow.  He has a lightweight boxer's build, and wears a denim shirt and jeans.  The man approaching from the right is 65 to 70 years old, face tan and leathery, his white hair cut to a military crew cut.  He is thin, and he wears a loose white blousy shirt and khakis.  This is HANS VON HAMMER.  Both men wear military style boots.  A BARTENDER cleans a beer glass with a rag.  The mirror behind the bar reflects the scene back, and we see the man on the left is scratching his face in the manner of the UNKNOWN SOLDIER.  The mirror has photos tacked around the frame, and a calendar on the wall has Betty Page in lingerie and the page reads August 1955.

CAPTION:  Fredericksburg, Texas.

BARTENDER:  Gen'l'men.

Panel 2:  Closer in.  The two men have sat on their stools, their backs to us, their faces reflected in the mirror.  The bartender puts the glass beneath one draft handle and begins to pour.


VON HAMMER:  Apple schnapps.

Panel 3:  Closer in.  The SOLDIER has his beer in front of him as the bartender puts the glass of schnapps in front of VON HAMMER.  The bartender is already turning away.  The two patrons stare at their reflections in the mirror.


Panel 4:  The reflection of the two men in the mirror, both staring into their glasses.  The SOLDIER scratches his face again.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER:  Ten years we've been meeting here like this...

VON HAMMER:  There shall not be another.

Panel 5:  Same POV.  The SOLDIER turns to look at VON HAMMER, who is still staring into his glass of schnapps.

VON HAMMER:  The cancer will not let me see year's end.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER:  I'm...I'm sorry, I...

VON HAMMER:  I have a favor to ask.

Panel 6:  Same as above, but the SOLDIER has his hand on VON HAMMER's shoulder.


VON HAMMER:  I have no more family.  At least none that I know of.  Or any that matters.

VON HAMMER:  But...HE...he had a son that he never saw or held.

Panel 7:  Zoom-in.  Glasses clinked in a toast.  A photo stuck in the frame of the mirror is just in view, but unclear.

VON HAMMER:  My Fokker is in the barn on my farm.  Sell the land, the house, and the plane.

VON HAMMER:  The boy gets everything.


Panel 8:  Zoom-in, to the photo.  It is a yellowed photo of SGT. ROCK, pointing to a picture of his new baby boy, uncharacteristically smiling.


VON HAMMER:  I cannot imagine a better man to have surrendered to.

VON HAMMER:  Ich trinke, um seine Ehre.*

CAPTION (small):  * "I drink, to his honor."


  1. Yeah, I love this.

    Plus you used two of my favourite military characters as well.

    A great look at that 'warriors code' that exists between those that have fought in the name of their country.

  2. You craft such a full story in just one page, each panel has more layers and beats to it then I have seen in some full issues.

    Everything about this page is bang on with tone and character voice.

    Also a small thing that I just loved here was your use of the calendar in panel 1. It's a tiny touch, but the choice of image to use gives the art an extra beat, plus you get to give the reader a time frame for your story without having to use a caption.

  3. A glorious tribute to some of DC's war heroes.

  4. Beautiful mixture of DC's major war characters into one big continuity that feels just right. Speaking of just right, I love the way Von Hammer's regret seems to be so thick it's palpable. Excellent stuff.


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