The Butcher of Paris #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Dean Kotz
Colors by Jason Wordie
Letters by Troy Peteri
The Rundown: In occupied France, those looking to escape the city will find something more dangerous than the Nazis hunting them.
It is the height of the Nazi occupation of France and the Jewish citizens of the city are desperate for escape to anywhere they won’t be persecuted. When one man is captured while trying to escape, he is brought into the local police station and given a choice about whether to shipped off to Poland or help the local SS commander uncover the resistance network smuggling Jews out of the country.
In his deaf and desperation for himself and his wife, the man agrees and finds himself being sent to the home of a doctor who the underground uses to get people out. When a police detective is called in to the doctor’s home, not only do they find that the Doctor has gone missing, but that his home is the scene of a series of brutal crimes that will shock the nation.
The Story: This is a brilliant, well crafted thriller that utilizes the tension and fear of the time to tell a murder mystery that is intriguing and engaging. Stephanie Phillips captures the desperation of the characters and the menacing evil of the Nazis perfectly. What makes this story stand out is the subtlety of its structure and how events unfold. I like the father/son detectives and it will be interesting to see how they conduct an investigation like this in the shadow and under the thumb of the SS. That part of the story is where some real tension will lie and I can’t wait to witness it.
The Art: Dean Kotz presents some beautiful stylized art in this issue that is reminiscent of comics from the period in many ways. The characters have a great look, filled with expression and detail and the Nazis are made to look scary and foreboding. A great looking issue.