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Sledgehammer 44: Lightning War #3

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By Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Laurence Campbell & Dave Stewart

Now that Lightning War has come to a close, it’s safe to say this mini-series was a perfect model for how to pace a short story like this, one of the many great talents of master storytellers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi.

Picking up right where we left off last month, Lightning War #3 dives right back into the action and was certainly a very exciting issue. Again, the story pacing for this mini-series has been fantastic, with the first installment as a grim and moody opener, last month featuring the beginnings of the mission, and the finale closes the story with a suspenseful thrill ride of action packed scenes. The ending provided a nice close to this tale which had a suitable amount of mystery; we all know the Black Flame eventually returns but that’s not the point! The closing of Sledgehammer’s side of the story was even more enigmatic, but still managed to shed a bit more light on the power the armor contains. There could be a chance we could see Sledgehammer return, but if this is the last we see of the character it was a fitting farewell.

Once again, Laurence Campbell absolutely rocks the visuals in this book. The characters look phenomenal, particularly the excellent facial expressions, and the Black Flame looks creepier than ever. As previously stated, there are plenty of big action scenes in Lightning War #3, and Campbell makes each one feel epic, really enhancing the scale of the story. The environmental details and the aerial combat in particular give the book a ‘grander’ sensibility. While the illustrations retain the trademark dark and gritty feel that we’ve come to love from Laurence Campbell’s work, long-time Mignolaverse colorist Dave Stewart adds a lot of vibrancy. The master has outdone himself again with terrific coloring that really helps bring the story to life.

Sledgehammer 44 always provides for a great story, and Lightning War has really highlighted the depth that can be achieved with this character. We recently caught up with Laurence Campbell to chat about working in the Mignolaverse (check it out here), and we were quite pleased to hear he’d be returning for more B.P.R.D. If you’re a fan of the Hellboy universe, or just great comic books in general, check out Lightning War.

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