Comic - Brian K Vaugh & Niko Henrichon (2 stars)

Brian K Vaugh & Niko Henrichon

Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo/Titan)


Taking inspiration from the real fate of the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the recent US invasion (sorry ‘liberation’) of Iraq, a pride of lions escape after a round of bombing destroys much of the zoo. They set off across the man-made wasteland that used to be Baghdad, hungry, lost and confused, all initial desires for freedom quelled by fear. It’s an admirable but ultimately simplistic attempt to put across a ‘war is hell’ tale from an unusual perspective. Of course it’s bloody, sometimes brutal and packed with stark realities but it can’t help but feel like ‘Disney the Gulf War years’ due to the cutesy anthropomorphism. Something Grant Morrison managed to avoid with such panache in We3, a far superior ‘animals in peril’ saga. However, Niko Henrichon’s art throughout is incredibly enticing, the rich details and scratchy edges giving the characters bite beyond their teeth and claws.

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