As a historical/horror hybrid, “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #2 is unbelievably suspenseful from beginning to end. Readers will definitely be on the edge of their seats with the nail-biting tension. This horror title has a way of pulling at your heart strings while bringing in the foreboding doom.
WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Dave Watcher
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 10th, 2013
At a quiet small village in Europe, Noah saw a burning plane falling down from the sky. From the burning wreckage, a British pilot came out injured and in desperate need for help. The war has come to this innocent village, signaling the arrival of an unstoppable army of Nazi soldiers. If the villagers are brave enough to protect the wounded pilot, they will be certainly be put on the Nazi’s hit list. What can a small village do, with just their elderly and children, against an entire army? Though he is just a boy, Noah must do everything he can to save his village, even if it means bringing out the dead.
What I really enjoyed about this issue is how writer Steve Niles presents a moving and heart-wrenching coming-of-age tale. Noah witnesses how the horrors of war will change his childhood forever. Because he is the only male role model around, Noah’s grandfather has to teach him how to be a man in just a few hours. With the clock ticking, Niles focuses on the poignant relationship between Noah and his grandfather just before the Nazis show up. Notice in the dialogue, Niles makes Noah’s grandfather vocal in his decisions, as if he is teaching the boy a valuable lesson.
Niles heightens the suspense when the Nazis finally arrive. There are villagers who have doubts about the grandfather’s plans. Why should this entire village risk their lives for one man, who they don’t even know? Who amongst the villagers is going to betray the wounded British pilot and hand him over to the Nazis? Did Noah unintentionally give away the British soldier’s location to the Nazi solider because of his eye movement?
What really makes this issue so heart-wrenching is how artist Dave Watcher depicts Noah and his grandfather in his illustrations. With just a close-up and the detailed look in his eyes, you can genuinely tell the grandfather truly cares for Noah. Searching for a father figure, Noah is always looking up at his grandfather. Watcher captures the loss of innocence as Noah stares at the empty road. There is sadness in his expression because he already knows his childhood is now over.
Staying away from “Inglorious Basterds,” Watcher depicts the Nazis more from history textbooks and “Schindler’s List.” The Nazi Captain doesn’t walk around, trying to act cool. Watcher depicts the Nazis with stern, cold stares and imposing stances. The Nazis glance at the villagers with contempt, as if they are wasting their time. Watcher achieves a WWII period look without a hint of color.
An impressive follow-up, “Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem” #2 captures emotion and suspense like you have never seen before. You can tell a lot of heart and soul comes out of the writing and artwork.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis