Every so often a comic comes along and reminds you why you began reading them in the first place. The perfect marriage of art and story can be used to produce some epic books. Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem is just such a work, from the spectacular writing of Steve Niles to the exceptionally emotional artwork of Dave Wachter this comic is more than the sum of its parts.
The story opens to a firefight taking place in April, 1944. A young man, Noah, finds himself in a dangerous predicament and his thoughts turn to his early life and how certain events changed him and his perception of evil. As his mind focuses on this, so does the story, allowing us a look at what happened we he was but a teenager in Poland during the German invasion.
Steve Niles and Dave Watcher pack even more punch into Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 than they did with their breathtaking series launch. This second installment of the three-issue special from Dark Horse gets right down to business with the imminent threat of the German army swarming young Noah’s village in search of the Allied pilot who crash-landed there in issue one, and the story grips the reader tightly until the very last page.
The village is torn between holding their ground or fleeing in hopes of reaching the border before the Germans catch up to them on the road. Noah’s grandfather insists that they stay, keeping the ace up his sleeve that he has a magical backup plan in case things go sour, and the rest of the townspeople reluctantly agree.
Two enemy scouts arrive on a reconnaissance mission and begin searching barns for the missing pilot. When they find him, the pilot’s brash actions result in everything the villagers had hoped to prevent.
Fans of Hellboy, B.P.R.D. Secret Origins, and FUBAR should definitely straighten up and pay attention! The latest addition to the horror-and-mythology-meet-WW2 family – and arguably the most beautifully rendered of the lot – is Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem from Dark Horse Comics.
Set in Poland just before the German invasion, the story unfolds around a Jewish boy named Noah who watches all of the men in his village “” including his own father “” march off to join the Allied forces in an attempt to hold back the enemy. Noah stays behind with his grandparents and has only the regular radio broadcasts to keep him informed of the battles that are drawing closer every day to the peaceful countryside he calls home.
After the long wait for his father’s return to the village with no word of his condition, Noah and his grandfather brace themselves for news of his death. This moment of emotional bonding between the boy and the old man quickly takes a turn when an Allied fighter plane roars overhead and crashes just outside the boundaries of their village.