Steve Niles does it again! In setting the tone, “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #1 delivers an emotionally-gripping war story with a suspenseful vibe. Readers will be genuinely moved by the narrative and detailed artwork. An excellent start, this horror title pulls at the heart strings while bringing in the eeriness.
WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Dave Watcher
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: June 12th, 2013
At a quiet small village in Europe, the war outside has changed the lives of its inhabitants. The men have to leave and fight a war they do not want to get involved in. As the men march together to battle, what they leave behind is the elderly, their wives and children. Noah looks up at the sky and wonders if he will ever see his father again. Suddenly, he sees a burning plane falling down from the sky. The war has definitely come to this small village, bringing in an army of Nazi soldiers. Noah must do everything he can to save his family, even if it means bringing the undead back to life.
What writer Steve Niles surprisingly does is present a moving and heart-wrenching coming-of-age tale. Just a child, Noah will witness the horrors of war, which will change his life forever. Noah’s grandfather cannot do anything to prevent this and refuses to lie to himself. By the bridge, Noah and his grandfather have a remarkable heart-to-heart talk. In the dialogue, Niles echoes profound sentiments of loss and grief. Each generation, including our own, turns dark and destructive because of war.
The story kicks up a fast pace when Noah and his grandfather witness a burning plane fall from the sky. This is also where Niles adds his witty humor to the wounded British soldier. Noah’s grandfather doesn’t want to help the fallen soldier but if he doesn’t, he looks like a hypocrite to his grandson. Niles builds the moral dilemma with suspense as the grandfather realizes the Nazis are on their way.
The main reason I became interested in this horror title is because of artist Dave Watcher. His illustrations here are just phenomenal. Using just back and white tones, Watcher is able to evoke the sadness and eeriness of the time period. Using watercolor effects, Watcher captures the innocence of Noah’s youth as he stares into the sunset, waiting for his father to return. Though he looks old and tired, Noah’s grandfather still has some life left in him, especially when his family needs him the most.
The opening pages are raw and brutal in its portrayal of war. In an epic splash page, Watcher illustrates the bombs exploding and bullets flying everywhere. Soldiers are running in the middle of a field, where their comrades are lying on the ground dead. In the next panel, the soldier’s face is soaked in blood as he watches everyone around him dying.
An impressive first issue, you should definitely get your hands on “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #1. The writing and artwork are just top-notch.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis