The Flutist of Arnhem: A Story of Operation Market Garden

Antonio Gil. Dead Reckoning, $24.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-68247-463-1
One of the worst Allied catastrophes of WWII is dramatized in this mostly successful graphic novel that founders in bolting a somewhat unbelievable personal story onto the military action. Gil (Stalingrad) sets the scene for 1944’s Operation Market Garden—an ambitious but poorly planned Allied assault on the Netherlands, using airborne troops to seize bridges ahead of ground forces—with text-jammed frames and maps. The main focus is on the outnumbered British 1st Airborne Division and its heroic attempts to hold the infamous “Bridge Too Far” at Arnhem against furious German counterattacks. Paired with that story is a parallel espionage narrative in which British spy John Hewson, holding information crucial for the Allies, who are operating blind after the Germans decimated their Dutch spy network, fights his way across occupied territory. Credulity is stretched by the addition of Hewson’s son, a British paratrooper unaware of his father’s identity and tasked with helping rescue him from the encroaching Gestapo, which he hopes to accomplish by playing a tune on a flute from his childhood. Though highly hammy in its personal drama and art style, and heavy-handed in its exposition, Gil’s story sincerely lauds the bravery of soldiers battling in impossible circumstances. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Comics
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-68247-640-6
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