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Review: The Jewish Brigade

The Jewish Brigade

As a fan of Quentin Tarantino, I have loved just about all of his movies. There is definitely no denying his understanding of cinema and his deep knowledge of movies. His love for movies can be seen in his best movies, Kill Bill Volumes I & II.  His appreciation for Hong Kong cinema is embedded in every celluloid of those movies and employing Gordon Liu and Sonny Chiba in pretty memorable roles.

But like every one of his fans, I have my favorites. One of those movies is the extraordinary Django Unchained, a hybrid of the Spaghetti westerns and Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s. The other favorite movie of his, is the epic Inglourious Basterds. In that epic movie we follow a group of Jewish soldiers who were more than happy to fight the Germans. That story has its loose bit of history based on the infantry in Marvano’s The Jewish Brigade. In that graphic novel we follow the exploits of one of the most heroic regiments of WWII.

In the first story, we are taken to June 1945 Poland, where we meet two British soldiers, Leslie and Ari, who just so happens to be Jewish, and can be easily identified, as they get to wear the Israeli flag on their uniforms. As their mission is to hunt Nazis hiding and Leslie finds one disguised as a priest, gains an ally, in Safaya, a former concentration camp survivor and rescue survivors of a nearby concentration camp. As the reader son finds out, that many of the Holocaust survivors would end up staying in months in the camps that they formally were imprisoned while awaiting transit somewhere else, most of them wanting to go to Palestine. In the second story, it is now July 1945, the war rage son in the Pacific, while Europe remains in utter shambles, as the continent tries to pick itself back up, sitting on the cliff of civil war and the boys are searching for a secret network which smuggles Nazis into South America. Meanwhile Ari gets tasked with moving the Jewish survivors in Graz while they were being detained by Russian troops. As Leslie discovers just how insidious the network is, when he comes face to face with the most notorious Nazi name connected to it. As Leslie and the reader find out, that even though thousands of lives were rescued when the concentration camps finally were closed, many would die months later from the torture and malnutrition the suffered all that time. In the final story, we are taken to April 1948 and Leslie is on a new mission near the Lebanon border, where his plane gets shot down. He meets Safaya, much more grown up from the last time he saw her, and the partitioning plan that was created by the United Nations Resolution 181, splitting the country into Israeli and Arab. As the reader and Leslie find out just how far back these hostilities between Arabs and Jews go, as Safaya would go on a combat mission, to save a Jewish settlement. By the story’s end, Leslie goes on one last all out mission, saves Safaya and starts a new life by her side in Palestine.

Overall, The Jewish Brigade is a different look at World War II, that shows that most of the time, heroes are in plain sight. The story by Marvano is glorious. The art by Marvano is beautiful. Altogether, The Jewish Brigade is a graphic novel that illuminates these great men’s heroics and the bravery of doing what’s right no matter what.

Story: Marvano Art: Marvano Color: Bérengère Marquebrueco
Translator: Montana Kane Letterer: Sylvain Dumas
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dead Reckoning provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: AmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAWBookshop

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