Required Reading is DoomRocket’s love chest, where each week one of our contributors goes crazy over a book they just can’t seem to get enough of. Intrigued to find something new? Seeking validation for your secret passions? Required Reading gets you.
By Brandy Dykhuizen. Nazis. In pop culture, we see them everywhere these days. No longer content to merely inhabit the caricatures of Bond villains and Hydra masterminds, Nazis can now be found setting up camp on the dark side of the moon, resurrected as snow zombies and scuttling around the pages of I Am Legion, colluding with ancient vampiric beings. Fabien Nury gives credibility to the fantastic by weaving his otherworldly tale in between familiar historic names, texts and subplots. If the nature of evil is tangible enough to enable something as unbelievably horrific as the Holocaust, how much more of a stretch is it, really, to throw vampires and weaponized children into the mix?
I Am Legion bops back and forth between London, the scowly, jowly world of British agents working to uncover some fairly unfathomable war secrets, and Transylvania, the mysterious medieval region of Romania, nestled deep within the Carpathian mountains. British operatives are hot on the trail of double agents, rebels, sympathizers and an exceedingly powerful 10 year old girl, whose stories are all intertwined for better or for worse.
John Cassaday’s artwork is clever and arresting, working to steadily build tension and create a Pavlovian reaction of fear each time certain steely faces appear. No matter the set – a London cab, an interrogation room, a hidden bunker – Cassaday imparts a sense of foreboding and sterility of emotion that keep the reader constantly turning the pages. Even when the plot gets a bit muddied (which it most certainly does), the visual storytelling guides us along, ensuring we don’t get too mired down and left behind.
Stunning and unquestioningly creative, I Am Legion does have the unfortunate tendency to occasionally get lost in its own discourse. An extremely narrative-heavy volume, lengthy exposition from the mouths of characters makes following the story a bit trying at times. Throw in a pair of men who end up inhabiting the same skin, and you may find yourself having to backtrack and reread certain sections to keep up with the Who’s Who of Nury’s tale. However, with such intriguing stories, fascinating characters, links to history and incredible artwork, all confusion is forgiven. There is no complaint in having to return for a second, or even third, reading. If you are prepared to get comfy and cozy up with I Am Legion for a few hours, it will prove to be a most intriguing and rewarding companion.
Written by Fabien Nury.
Art by John Cassaday.
Letters by Chris Crank.
Colors by Laura Martin.