Sunday, November 7, 2021

Review of "Pride of Baghdad," by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon

 Review of

Pride of Baghdad, by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon ISBN 9781401203153

Five out of five stars

Consequences of bombing from the captive feline perspective

 When the United States bombed Baghdad in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Baghdad zoo was bombed, freeing many of the animals. Among them was a group of four lions that were eventually shot and killed by U. S. forces. When that happened, the animals were in a state of starvation.

 This graphic novel tells that story from the perspective of the lions, which are sentient and can communicate verbally. To each other as well as to other animals in the zoo. Being subject to captivity for varying periods of time, the oldest lion remembers roaming wild and witnessing the sunset. The youngest have known only being fed on a daily basis without having to engage in any hunting style activity.

 As they roam free within the bombed city, they encounter other animals as well as human victims of the bombing. Their perspective is very well represented, while they can comprehend what they experience, they have no idea about the concept of human war. They argue between themselves, not really enjoying their freedom to roam among the death and destruction. At the end, they are shot by U. S. soldiers and their time out of the zoo was short and not very enjoyable.

 This is one of the most unusual anti-war graphic novels that you will ever encounter. It shows some collateral damage of war that is rarely considered, that of the animals that for whatever reason are in the care of humans.

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