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Review: Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #1

Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #1

Some of the big news for 2022 is the return of Kurt Busiek to Image Comics. With numerous series coming, things kick off with a new volume of Arrowsmith, Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines. I myself have never read the series so I came into this new series pretty cold only knowing the very basics. Thankfully, the experience is a solid one with it being pretty friendly to new readers.

The world of Arrowsmith takes place during World War I and instead of the heavy use of technology to wage battle, this is a world of magic featuring dragons and spells. It’s an interesting take on classic war stories with a new volume that narrows things down and keeps it simple in many ways.

The story focuses on Fletcher Arrowsmith and the comic kicks off with a mission. What’s smart is it throws the reader into the action and at the same time teaches the rules of this world. For those who are new, it’s a great way to learn how things work and what’s different in this alternate history. For those that have enjoyed what has already come out, it’s just solid action.

Busiek also takes things beyond the action making sure to focus on the human side of things. We really get to know Arrowsmith and what makes him a solid protagonist and more importantly, why we should care about him and cheer for him.

The art by Carlos Pacheco is great with a grounded style about it. What’s excellent is that even though this could just be a comic set during World War I, there’s the subtle differences, the magic and creatures, that makes it stand out. It keeps the readers on their toes to see what’s slightly “off” from our world. José Rafael Fonteriz handles the ink and José Villarrrubia does the colors and the trio deliver a look and style that’s very grounded despite it’s premise.

Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #1 is a solid start to the series with a debut issue that’s perfect for new readers. I’ve never read what has come before and knew very little but I dove right in without any issues. It’s a fun start taking a familiar concept and setting and delivering a twist. It has me not only looking forward to what’s to come but also wanting to go back and see what has already been released.

Story: Kurt Busiek Art: Carlos Pacheco
Ink: José Rafael Fonteriz Color: José Villarrubia
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Kurt Busiek Releases New Arrowsmith, Astro City, and More in 2022

Kurt Busiek, the bestselling writer of Avengers, Superman, Thunderbolts, Iron Man, JLA, and more, is returning to Image in a big way in 2022, with new entries in fan-favorite series, including Astro City, Arrowsmith and others, plus new creations and more, as he brings his creator-owned work to Image Comics as his primary publisher.

First up, Busiek and superstar artist Carlos Pacheco bring fans the much-anticipated return of Arrowsmith in Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines. This six issue miniseries launches from Image Comics in January 2022—followed in February by an oversized, fully re-mastered hardcover collected edition of the original series.

In March, Arrowsmith will be joined by the return of Astro City, Busiek’s collaboration with Brent Anderson, Alex Ross, and Alex Sinclair, first with an Astro City one-shot special introducing new characters and setting the stage for upcoming dangers for the city and the world, plus new collected editions that will make the entire Astro City backlist available again.

Longtime fans will also be treated to a new urban-fantasy graphic novel, The Gods on Sunday Morning, from the whole Astro City team, after which they begin a new ongoing run on the acclaimed series.

Also in the works is Free Agents, a new series launch from Busiek with co-writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Stephen Mooney and the return of Autumnlands from Busiek with Benjamin Dewey and Jordie Bellaire, all planned for late 2022.

In addition to all the exciting new content from the mind of Busiek, there will also be re-releases of his popular backlist gems like Shockrockets and Superstar: As Seen on TV, both with Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Jeromy Cox, and The Wizard’s Tale with David Wenzel.

In the upcoming Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines, it’s World War I—but a war of wizards and dragons as much as bullets and barbed wire. Young airman Fletcher Arrowsmith plunges back into the heat of war—and finds himself behind enemy lines, facing a threat that could doom the Allied Powers. Old friends and new favorites will appear, and the world of Arrowsmith will be deepened, as previously-secret history and machinations are revealed.

For the re-mastered hardcover, Arrowsmith: So Smart In Their Fine Uniforms ,readers are introduced to young Fletcher Arrowsmith who learns the true cost of war in an alternate history where dragons and magic spells are as much a part of World War I as bullets and barbed wire. This edition, deluxe-sized and in hardcover for the first time, will present the art as Pacheco originally intended, and will feature ancillary material about the creation and history of Arrowsmith.

Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, January 19:

  • CVR A Pacheco Fonteriz Villarubia – Diamond Code NOV210009
  • CVR B Johnson – Diamond Code NOV210010
  • CVR C Jones – Diamond Code NOV210011
  • CVR D Chaykin – Diamond Code NOV210012
  • CVR E blank cover – Diamond Code NOV210013
  • CVR F 1:25 copy incentive Walta – Diamond Code NOV210014
  • CVR G 1:50 copy incentive Jones virgin – Diamond Code NOV210015

Arrowsmith: So Smart In Their Fine Uniforms (Diamond Code: NOV210098, ISBN: 978-1-5343-2206-6) will be available on Wednesday, February 23 and in bookstores on Tuesday, March 1. It can be pre-ordered at your local comic book shop or independent bookstore or via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Indigo.