By Boyd Reynolds | Staff Writer Published: 06/14/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: June 12, 2013 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
World War II. Nazis. A supernatural force. I’m in. Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem offers all that and more in its first issue. Written by Steve Niles and Matt Santoro, the story takes place in a small Jewish village in Poland prior to the Second World War. There, a young boy, Noah, lives with his elderly grandfather. Noah’s father, and all the other men in the village for that matter, have been taken away to fight against the coming Nazi threat. While Noah talks to his grandfather about monsters in the countryside, a British Spitfire comes crashing down from the heavens. Noah’s grandfather houses the British soldier, even though the Nazis are coming closer and closer. Later that night, Noah’s grandfather, reminding Noah of their talk of monsters, gives him a gift passed down for generations, a hand-held golem, while muttering the terrific cliffhanger, “Sometimes it takes monsters to stop monsters.”
Thus far, the storyline is good, filled with character development as well as a little humor. Although the WWII setting has been done before, the use of Jewish folklore to oppose an army of evil is creative enough to keep me engaged. While we have yet to see what the golem can do (aside from the front cover artwork), we are allowed to have our imagination run wild, at least for a month, until the second installment of Breath of Bones is released.
The artwork by Dave Wachter is well done and entirely in black and white. It gives the flavor of a timeless era gone by, reminding me immediately of Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. The sequence of panels where the British Spitfire goes down on the outskirts of the village is exhilarating. The dialogue is well written and the ending leaves me wanting more, which is good seeing as there are two more issues to go.
What is it about World War II and Nazis that compels so many of us? Is it the easy portrayal of evil? Once shown or mentioned, there is no need for further explanation; unfortunately we know what they are capable of. Has the Second World War been exposed so much through movies, novels, television shows, and comics that it almost rings of glamour? Although it is wrong to glamorize war, is that not what has happened, at least with WWII? I’m not one to stop it. I have been hooked in ever since History 12 in high school. I lap it all up like an eternally thirsty puppy dog. And with Breath of Bones adding in a golem, well, I think this tale is for me.
Summary:GOOD: Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem is a solid first part of three. The setting and story-line match the artwork – engaging and timeless. The ending left me hopeful to see the golem kicking some Nazi butt.
Author:Steve Niles, Matt Santoro, Dave Wachter
Publisher:Dark Horse Comics
Published:June 12, 2013