Review: Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2

20130709-211557.jpgSteve Niles strayed far from his horror comfort zone to scribe this wonderful three part World War II fable. After rescuing the pilot of a downed allied aircraft, the residents are torn between saving his life and risking theirs or turning him away for the good of the village. After a divided decision to keep him, led by the grandfather of Noah, the boy who found the plane, they race to keep him hidden. It is all in vain though. A Nazi search party discovers his location and scrambles out of the town to alert the forces. The grandfather decides it is time to make believers out of a Jewish folk tale and awaken the golem.

Niles smartly sticks to a tight script, and lets Dave Wachter‘s simple, yet elegant black and white pencils do an equal amount of talking. The single best decision this team makes is the slow burn reveal of the beast. The first issue didn’t even hint at it until the final frames, and this latest builds on that tension as the townspeople use mud in imaginative ways. Therein also lies my biggest complaint…the covers. So much time and care was spent on the slow reveal, yet the covers have a full fledged golem head butting tanks and chucking Nazis like frisbees. I have to believe this was a marketing decision, because there is an inside credits page that shows two cupped hands holding a golem figurine that would have made a beautiful cover.

As I await the third and final issue of Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem, I have no doubt I will be left wanting a monthly run. But, as with folklore, some of the best stories aren’t necessarily the longest. Battling the Third Reich is good versus evil of the highest order and, along with Niles’ exceptional miniseries, will never get old.

Story: Steve Niles Art: Dave Wachter
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


  • I’m certainly glad to see others enjoying this book; I think it’s just a great mini-series and Niles and Wachter obviously work well together.

  • Absolutely. I saw your review go up a while I was writing mine and I’m glad we were on the same page.