The Ranks of the Black Order

Pierre Christin, Author, Enki Bilal, Author, Enki Bilal, Illustrator Catalan Communications $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87416-052-9
Using contemporary Europe as a backdrop, the French team of Bilal and Christin have produced a stark, somberly illustrated exploration of revolutionary politics and the attendant brute fanaticism. As he reads a dispatch describing a savage, right-wing terrorist attack on a tiny village in Spain, Jefferson B. Pritchard, a London newspaper editor, recalls the bloody battles he fought there in 1938 as a member of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. He recognizes the assailants as Franco nationalists, now regrouped into the ``Black Order'' and resolved to murder liberal and radical European politicians. Contacting the former members of his unit, Pritchard creates a left-wing faction to oppose fascist violence with yet more violence. Although somewhat implausible (the characters, nearly all septuagenarians, climb, hike, swim and bike all over Europe like a geriatric A-Team), Christin's treatment is otherwise commendable. Bilal's drawings, which combine linear precision with richly modulated color, mark him as one of the great comics artists working today. (Aug . )
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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