By Boyd Reynolds | Staff Writer Published: 07/10/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: July 10, 2013 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 picks up right where Steve Niles and Matt Santoro’s first installment left off, with Noah holding the small clay Golem in his hands in the middle of a rural roadway. He looks beyond his village, awaiting the evil heading his way. In this story, evil takes the form of a swastika in the late 1930s.
The Jewish villagers all want to leave, trying to get away before the Nazis show up. In Breath of Bones #1, a British Spitfire crashed on the outskirts of town. Noah helped save the pilot, and Jacob, Noah’s grandfather, has been housing him. Emil, the town member leading the push to escape, wants to leave the injured soldier as well. But Jacob, a well-respected man in the community, speaks the tenets of faith. When two German soldiers arrive, Noah’s grandfather barricades the British pilot in his barn. But the soldiers find him and shots are fired, with one Nazi soldier dead and another having escaped. The result: Faith can move mountains, but to survive a Nazi onslaught faith will have to create a Golem.
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 is a fantastic read. First, let’s start with the cover, a Golem who reminds me of the Thing from the Fantastic Four standing in between Noah and a German tank. The image is set behind the boy and the Golem—simple yet powerful. The cover sets off what is to come next for the duration of the comic, a combination of poetic images and spiritual overtones. The use of language is extraordinary. Steve Niles and Matt Santoro have outdone themselves here. Niles’ script has great command of the language, conjuring unexpected emotion. Dave Wachter’s artwork lends itself well to the timeless black and white colors. As well, the storyline, the art, and usage of black and white tie greatly to the ideas surrounding faith. Also, at several critical points in the story, the panel selection was perfect. It gave Breath of Bones #2a clear cinematic feel. When the German tanks rolled into the village, my skin was covered in goosebumps. And the ending! I don’t have the heart to spoil it, but let’s just say the powerful cliffhanger had me drooling for next month’s conclusion.
At the heart of Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 is the notion of faith. What is it about us humans and our innate desire to believe in the illogical? Are Golems real? No. Of course not. That’s child’s play. Yet, deeper down, I want to believe they are. In Breath of Bones #2, that belief creates the unbelievable, the impossible. But isn’t that what faith teaches us? That we have to see, nay—feel, beyond our limits. In all the great stories, isn’t it at that moment, the crisis of belief, when we come face to face with the miraculous? Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 offers the idea that believing in the impossible is perhaps the only way to thwart the horrific from happening.
Summary:GREAT: Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 is a terrific continuation of a story filled with tension, heart-ache and faith. Writer Steve Niles has a masterful use of language, as he carefully carves out one gem of a comic.
Author:Steve Niles, Matt Santoro, Dave Wachter
Publisher:Dark Horse Comics
Published:July 10, 2013