- Gebundene Ausgabe: 104 Seiten
- Verlag: Image Comics; Auflage: 01 (9. September 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1632151421
- ISBN-13: 978-1632151421
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: 13 - 16 Jahre
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,6 x 2,5 x 29 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 513.425 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
White Death (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 9. September 2014
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For four years, The Great War, World War One, raged across the planet. Millions were sent to their deaths in pointless battles. The Italian Front stretched along the borders of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empires, in treacherous mountain regions. In the last months of 1916, a private in the Italian Bersaglieri returns to his childhood home in the Trentino mountain range to find it no longer a place of adventure and wonder as it was in his youth, but a place of death and despair. Amongst the weapons of both armies, none is more feared than the White Death: thundering avalanches deliberately caused by cannon fire, which, like war itself, consume everything in their path... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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Much as I was looking forward to this, I found it kind of muddled and hard to engage with. To be sure, there are some haunting panels of faces locked in horror and pain. But the book suffers from a lack of story, lack of context, and frankly, a cast of characters who are very hard to distinguish from one another. Admittedly, one of the themes of the book is how malleable nationality was in northeastern Italy, where territory shifted back and forth between Italy and Austria every few decades. But this is a more fundamental case of artwork and storytelling not communicating well. This becomes literal in one section where the lettering is done in a script in order to represent a letter, and its so tiny and hard to read that I almost stopped reading the whole book at that point. I kept going until the end, mainly because every few pages there was a striking image, but by the end I didn't feel like I read a story or been presented a message beyond a kind of "war is hell" cliche.
War fought on mountainsides. War fought in a Winter so cold the bodies of the dead were piled up to reinforce the trenches, the soldiers knowing the bodies would not begin to rot until the following Spring. War fought with bayonets and rifles and poison gas and, fiendishly, with avalanches. That was the White Death of the title.
The story was inspired by the recovery of two dead soldiers from the Alpine ice in 2013, almost a hundred years after they died. The soldiers bear the names of real soldiers who died there. Writer Robbie Morrison turned these materials into a vision of the sad, painful, ultimately pointless story of this small but hard-fought campaign.
Artist Charlie Adlard illustrated the story in an unusual style of chalk and charcoal on grey paper, achieving a very suitable look for the book, starting right from the arresting cover image of an Italian soldier wrapped in a muffler and wearing snow goggles, which is liable to be mistaken for a skull at first glance -- and possibly at second. For all we can tell, this is one of the frozen soldiers.
Indeed, the end of the story can be interpreted as showing that all of the characters who avoided being shot, stabbed, blown up or poisoned wound up dying the White Death.
There are some wonderful scenes here -- soldiers escaping their fears between the sheets with working women, a newly promoted officer expressing moral qualms about burying platoons in snow, the friendships between Italians and Austrians that are tested (or strengthened) by war, the hospital wards filled with soldiers who have lost limbs or lungs. One of the key characters is, by the story's end, guaranteed to inspire hatred. Many of the war scenes have been done before but they are done well and the avalanche angle is new to me.
The art, sketched in white, gray, and black, is suitably moody in its contrast of snow (and the death it portends) with the gray lives of soldiers who know they are doomed. I particularly like the haunted facial expressions of men who know they are facing their last moments alive, or who are watching friends die. The infamous thousand yard stare is rendered beautifully here.
I would give White Death 4 1/2 stars if I could.