Ironclads at War The Monitor vs. the Merrimac (Graphic History 8)
Author: Dan Abnett Illustrator: Ron Wagner, Dheeraj Verma Paperback Release Date: February 7 2007 48 pages
“On March 9, 1862, the world saw the first battle between two ironclad warships; a battle which would change the face of naval warfare forever. The fight took place in the Mississippi River, Virginia, between the newly-developed Confederate ironclad CSS Merrimac - officially the CSS Virginia - and the Union's counterpart USS Monitor. The four-hour duel that ensued was ultimately a stalemate, but crucially, despite their best efforts, the Confederacy had failed again to break the Northern blockade of the Southern ports.”
1.) Table of contents
2.) Who’s who
3.) Background to the Historic Battle
4.) The Battle
When I first read the early announcements from Osprey Publishing, talking of a new series of books that they were about to begin to market, I had my doubts as to whether or not they could pull something like this concept off or not. . .after examining this new release, “Ironclads at War”, #8 in the Osprey Graphic History series, my original thoughts have been changed, for sure! For both the young and young at heart, the comic book style format of this publication makes learning both fun and easy, as well as adding the nostalgic excitement of the comic energy. Illustrated in full color, the entire story of the Monitor/Merrimac battle is documented with eye pleasing, action packed drawings, expertly done by Ron Wagner and Dheeraj Verma.
After reading the book through, I came away with a general understanding of who was involved in the battle, both Union and Confederate commanders, respectively, the various ships involved, as well as how the battle played out. The text is well written, to the point, as well as fresh and exciting, to stimulate the reader into wanting to read to the end (and in the process, maybe learning a little something?)
In addition to the illustrated story, there are also highly informative chapters as well, covering the birth of the Ironclads, basic Civil War history, the war at sea, and the aftermath of the sea battle. Again, these chapters are well written, to the point, and quite informative, with supporting photo’s, maps, and illustrations.
The two reference sections in the back have a detailed glossary of terms used throughout the book, and the “For More Information” page covers listings of organizations, and also a nice list of further reading suggestions to learn more about this and other sea battles of the time. As a special bonus, in the very back of the book is a full color, limited edition poster, illustrating an exciting scene in the story.
A new website...
Osprey Publishing has created a special website focusing on this new series, where young historians can get the latest on new and future releases, get a chanced to vote on what you would like to see next, find out details on favorite authors and artists, first hand accounts from soldiers on the front, competitions, free downloads, and sneak previews of new titles! All this and more can be found at www.ospreygraphichistory.com.
About the author, and Illustrators...
This edition is written by Dan Abnett, who currently lives and works in the UK. Educated at Oxford University, he originally worked as an editor of various comics and children’s books, before he began to write full time. His works include The X-men, Batman, and Dr. Who. He recently finished a five year tour on The Legion of Superheroes for DC Comics.
Cover artist Ron Wagner, lives in Iowa, and has worked for major comic book companies such as Marvel Comics, D.C. Comics, Dark Horse, and Image.
Dheeraj Verma, talented comic strip artist, has over 10 years experience working with many publishers, including Marvel Comics, Viper Comics, and Rosen Publishing.
Many thanks to Osprey Publishing, New York, for providing us with this very unique review sample.
Highs: Exciting, easy to read and understand format, full color illustrations, good historical content.Lows: None! A good point of reference to spark young historians interests!Verdict: Overall, a very pleasing read, exciting, informative, and the comic book style format makes you want to keep turning the pages. Highly recommended!
About Mark R. Smith (Gunny) FROM: PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...