Chuck Dixon is regarded as a comic book legend the world over. His work on the Punisher for Marvel and on Batman for DC (he is responsible for the iconic Knightfall saga of the 1990s) has sealed his reputation as a storyteller. In Civil War Adventure, Dixon collaborates with artist Gary Kwapisz to recount the experiences of the American Civil War. So how does Dixon apply his storytelling to a historical setting?
Civil War Adventure chronicles individual events amidst the bigger picture of the American Civil War between 1860 and 1865. To begin with, A Choice of Targets shows the readers one of the world’s first snipers on mission; it is a tense, lonely piece of writing and, ultimately, whilst you know where the story will go you’re never quite a hundred percent that it will go that way. Elsewhere, The Boy General tells of the efforts of General Ulysses Grant to disrupt Southern rail traffic. It's very traditional in its storytelling, with lots of dialogue which allows the story to progress without having to rely on narrative boxes. Meanwhile, Darnel Dingus tells the story of the war from a more comical point of view.
This anthology has all of the hallmarks of an esteemed writer of comics: it has clear, well developed narratives, the distinctive characters and details gave artists a lot to go to develop visually interesting comic panels, and yet Dixon doesn’t apply the same formula to his storytelling throughout; he mixes up his story telling to keep not only his readers engaged but also his artists engaged as well.
To round things off, Civil War Adventure becomes an interesting medium in which to document a period of history significant to American culture; who else but one of America’s top comic writers could achieve such a documentation? Considering that there are twelve individual chapters in this anthology, Chuck Dixon makes a concerted effort all around to do something different in every story, meaning that you don’t get bored.
CIVIL WAR ADVENTURE / WRITER: CHUCK DIXON / ARTIST: GARY KWAPISZ / PUBLISHER: DOVER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW