Review: The Lions of Leningrad
The world as of present is keenly aware of the invasion taking place on the European continent. As our very existence remains in flux right now because nothing seems right. For many of us military veterans, we have seen shadows of this before. Depending on what conflict occurred during our service, most of us remember as if it happened the night before.
We often live with it for years, at times, visiting those places in our dreams, which sometimes turn into nightmares. That is why what is happening in Ukraine , leaves somewhat psychic scars, AS the horrors of wars comes back on so many levels, that many of us don’t even know how to deal. In the latest offering from Dead Reckoning, we get The Lions Of Leningrad, where are taken to Russia in 1941 where Germany has just invaded and four young people must find a way to survive it all.
We’re taken to Leningrad 1962, where a symphony concert is interrupted by a gunshot from a mysterious gunman, who is arrested by state police and brought to the police station to be questioned. As he starts his interrogation, he rambles on about the summer of 1941, where he (Chapayev) and (Pyotr, Maxim, Anka and Grigory) met during what would be called “The Battle of Farmer Ivan’s Potato Field”, which was a friendly school fight between those who followed the Romanovs and ones who followed the Soviets. They enjoy their lives as children do at their age, which changed the day Germany invades Russia, and they become separated from their parents.
The friends would evade a German infantry, find the Russian front and eventually reunite with their parents. Their relief would not last long, as Grigory would get in trouble with state police, as the Soviets continue to repress the truth that the Germans are invading the country, which would only make the friends’ bond even stronger. As the friends would survive, poverty, loss of parents, child slavery, homelessness, hard winters, all under the fog of war. By book’s end, a betrayal leaves one friend spending 20 years in the Gulag, while the other stealing their identity but justice winning the day, and this one wrong being righted.
Overall, The Lions of Leningrad is an excellent graphic novel that will remind readers of Red Dawn, but if it actually happened in Russia and was heartfelt. The story by Van Rijckeghem is astounding. The art by Du Caju is beautiful. Altogether, a coming of age story that shows that true friendship wins at the end.
Story: Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem Art: Thomas Du Caju
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Dead Reckoning provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review