Sara Review: Comic Book Legends at the Top of Their Game

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the midst of the current pandemic, the comics industry has been brought to a standstill in a situation impacting creators, publishers, and many, local comic book stores. TKO Studios—a new publisher with an atypical business model—has pledged to send 50% of all purchases from their online store to the retailer of a customer's choice. This offer provides much-needed relief for stores with no additional cost, while allowing readers to safely order TKO comics from inside their own homes. You can learn more about that offer here and select your own local comic book store to benefit after shopping for TKO titles here.

Throughout his career, one of Garth Ennis' strengths has been diving into the world of war and with TKO Studios' Sara, he is joined by Steve Epting to tell us a tale of battle that ranks among some of the legendary writer's best work. The story itself revolves around the titular Sara, a Soviet sniper in World War II working to halt an advance by Nazi forces. While the story has its fair share of typical Ennis trench warfare, it's in the quiet character moments that the comic really shines.

Sara, as a sniper and a veteran soldier, holds numerous similarities to the world of Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher. Her inner monologue throughout tense situations shows Ennis' strength at portraying characters such as Sara, with the story itself doing a fantastic job of bouncing between the "present" and Sara's past. Ennis himself is clearly in his element here, writing this crew of female Soviet soldiers living in the cold Russian woods as they trade quips and holding a seething hatred for the Germans invading their motherland. It's clear that this story shows Garth in his ideal setting, and it's one of the best war stories that the comic book creator has put to paper.

On the art front, Steve Epting works perfectly in balance with a writer like Garth Ennis. Like Ennis' work on Marvel's The Punisher, Epting really shone in a similar fashion with his work on Captain America with Ed Brubaker. Through his previous work introducing Bucky as the Winter Soldier crawling through the deep woods of European theater during World War II, the one time Captain America artist is able to perfectly provide life to Sara and the rest of the Soviet soldiers that stalk the woods. Epting and Ennis are firing on all cylinders, playing off one another's strengths and creating the highest caliber of war story in either of their careers in Sara.

Sara is a fantastic "one and done" war story that delivers a steady supply of thoughtful characters and unique war time scenarios, and if TKO Studios can continue to produce comics on the same level, the publisher will certainly find a solid footing in the comic book community.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Published by TKO Studios

Written by Garth Ennis

Art by Steve Epting

Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser


Letters by Rob Steen