20 August 2005

Arrowsmith - "So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms"

Premise: What if World War I was fought by wizards instead of generals, airmen flew into battle with dragons instead of biplanes, and the Germans sank ships with sea serpents instead of U-Boats?

The story is your typical hero's journey. A spry young farm boy named Fletcher Arrowsmith runs away from home to join the Overseas Aero Corps. While fighting in Europe, he experiences life, love, and the horrors of war. Much like J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas, writer Kurt Busiek pushes the setting to the forefront and populates it with classic archetypes (the naive young hero, his cocky rival, the bored socialite, the wise old farmhand, etc.) to act as the reader's window to this strange new world.

What really drives this book though, is the art. Carlos Pachecho (penciller), Jesus Merino (inker) and Alex Sinclair (colorist) do some of the best work of their careers in this book. Their work truly gives the book an epic, cinematic feel. I really can't say enough good things about it.

Recommended for: Fans of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or war movies; history buffs.
Not recommended for: people who don't like fantasy, people who prefer more traditional fantasy stories.

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