Review: Pride Of Baghdad

16 Oct

It isn’t often that you get a perspective of war from the eyes of a wild animal. However that’s exactly what Pride of Baghdad does.  Based on real events. It follows the story of four lions escaped from a zoo and into the wild through the early stages of the United States war campaign against Iraq.

The story lands the reader in the middle of the Baghdad Zoo. A Lion is talking to a black bird that has landed on a tree in his pen. The blackbird is a frequent omen of destruction in many pieces of literature. In this case he brings no better news, proclaiming to all the world “the sky is falling”.

The Lion is befuddled, uncertain to what this bird means and urges it to stop.

Above planes zoom. Something seems off to Zill, the king lion of this story. He discusses with his family, there is panic in the air. Author Brian K. Vaughan and artist Niko Henrichon produce sign after sign proclaiming their inevitable destruction.

Yet, there is calm. After all Lions show no fear. They are the hunter not the hunted.

Boom! Explosions everywhere mark the beginning of this tragic tale.

This story follows Zill along with Noor(wife), Ali(son) and Safa ( elder friend) as they escape the onslaught of explosive barrages that come from the United States Air Force.

They are wild for the first time in a long time. Something that the youngest Ali has never experienced and the eldest Safa would rather not experience again.

It is a world that they are no longer accustomed to. They must find a way to survive in a newly war-torn city.

The story is a captivating emotional roller coaster in which every page leaves you wanting more. For the first time you get a different perspective of war. You witness the lions as they come to the realization that they are stuck in a dangerous world, one where humans are more common than animals. Everything is foreign to them and nothing is more foreign than the concept of “war”.

It is an epic masterpiece of survival and discovery. It offers a perspective that strays away from the typical narrative of that of a human. In this graphic novel, a new artifact arises from the war in Iraq but from the most unfamiliar source. It makes one consider just how much war affects not just people but all walks of life. Tragic.

Rating: 10/10


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