He Who Fights With Monsters #4
Ablaze Publishing 2021
Written by Francesco Artibani
Illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera
Coloured by Giovanna Nifro
Lettered by ALW’s Troy Peteri
Violence erupts in the city as the resistance moves forward with their plans, but Radek and the people he love are caught in the crossfire. Will they reach safety before things get out of hand? Will the creature do as they hope and protect them or will its very presence bring their persecutors right down on top of them?
Is there some sort of Holocaust remembrance or tribute happening this time of the year that I am unaware of or forgot? This is the third book this week that centres around the Jewish people fighting against Nazi forces. For the longest time it seems that Nazi’s were off limits and with their resurgence in today’s world what we see from a historical standpoint compared to today is way to eerie to contemplate for long. I just find the connections that my brain makes to be interesting a direct result of the book which shows just how engaged I am in this story. Also, using the myth or legend of the Golem in such a fashion is just infinitely interesting and adds such a wonderful layer to the story as his presence allows the resistance to really stand up for themselves and what they believe in.
I am utterly fascinated by the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are exceptionally well rendered. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in continuing to flesh out their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story drawing us further and further into their lives, hopes, dreams and fears.
I am extremely impressed with the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that these layers open up new avenues to explore. These avenues add so much depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably handled.
The interiors here are beautifully rendered. The linework is clean, crisp and strong and along with the varying weights and techniques creating the detail within the work is exceptionally well rendered. We do see some nice use of backgrounds as they enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The attention to detail in the era, the clothes and the German uniforms are wonderfully represented. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows an amazing eye for how colour works.
The Captain and his personal belief, whether the Golem is real or not, and how he responds to the threat is in such typical fashion of someone who believes that power should be wielded by him and him alone. Meanwhile Radek is still extremely cautious and isn’t prepared to launch a full scale relation against their oppressors even with Yossel, while not weak though it appears this way he’s not sure they can win even with the Golem. Soon the choice will be taken out of his hands whether he’s ready for it or not this is war after all. With some magnificent writing and stunning characterisation alongside these beautifully rendered interiors really make the story shine.