By Sam King
Son of Hitler is an original graphic novel. The copy I read is an advanced uncorrected proof. Therefore, I can’t say much for pages 116-183 as far as artwork goes as it is unfinished compared to the rest. I can tell what is happening; it just doesn't have the same nice finish as the rest of the book. Based on the rest of the story though, I’d bet that once published, it will look pretty damn good.
Son of Hitler begins in 1943 and ends in 1945. It is supposed to take place starting the fourth year of World War II. The story predominantly takes place in Europe, specifically France and England. The main character initially is Cora Browne, a secret agent for the British. She has been informed by captured German soldiers that Hitler has a secret son. They tell her this in the hopes that she will set them free so that they can have new lives in America. Immediately she begins to seek out Hitler’s son.
The character that takes center stage after Cora is a young boy in France named Pierre. He is the son of a whore and is the boy that Cora is seeking. He gets very angry whenever someone insults his mother and takes things into his own hands, literally. He gets into fights even if he is advised not to. He finds work at a bakery when his mother loses customers and finds himself brought into unexpected conflict. Cora eventually finds him, and the story kicks off from there.
Pierre is very hot-headed and rushes into things without thinking it through. Cora, on the other hand, is very strategic, but obsessed with her mission to kill Hitler. The story takes a lot of twists and turns. It is an interesting ride, and I had a pretty good time reading it. I’m not a major history buff, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be that interested in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. While it is not an amazing graphic novel, it is enjoyable and weaves together highly interesting ideas. A few things confused me that I still haven’t figured out, but I won’t discuss them here as they may be spoilers and I am anti-spoiler. Generally, I can say that I do wish some things were a bit clearer by the end of the story. Once it reaches its end, I found myself thinking back over it and found that things were not as clear-cut as I’d believed and it made me question a few parts. It doesn't change history and Hitler is not at all sympathized with as the focus is killing him; it adds to events and people that we are already familiar with because of their historical impact and creates a new layer of events that would have been hidden had it happened.
The art has a very sketchy style to it. Meaning, it looks like sketches. It is in black, white, grey, and occasionally has some blue undertones. The blending is done very well, and the panels look smooth, but they also have a sort of grit to them. This pairs pretty nicely with the action and violence within the story. I like when gore is done in more monochromatic colors because it reads better to me than having a mix of reds splashing everywhere. Blackened blood spurts just feel weightier to me for some reason. The coloring and attention to the lighting was one of the things I enjoyed most about this.
With good artwork through the first 100 pages, I think the rest, once finished, will look pretty good too. The weakest art to me is the cover. It is okay, but I prefer the art inside. I’ve never choked a man, but to me, it seems like there is something a little off about Hitler’s face. Then again, its Hitler, so maybe he deserves to look compromised and not as well drawn as the rest. It could be that shade of red, or maybe it’s the tongue sticking out. The story inside is worth checking out even if it leaves some questioning of particular plot elements. The shifts and reveals are intriguing, and I had a pretty good time reading it. I don’t think it will be the graphic novel of the year, but it was a good read.
Son of Hitler is scheduled for release this summer, June 13th.
Son of Hitler