The Butcher of Paris #1
In 1944, as Swastikas flew over Paris, one of the most notorious and prolific serial killers in history turned the occupied city into his personal hunting ground. Under the guise of opportunity and freedom, a killer preys on those desperate to flee . . . until a gruesome discovery alerts the police. In a city on the brink of war, the hunt for a serial killer begins as a French detective races to catch the villain before the Nazis beat him to it. Written by Stephanie Phillips (Descendent, Devil Within) with art by Dean Kotz (Mars Attacks), The Butcher of Paris is a historical, true crime thriller about a killer wanted by both the Nazis and allied forces for the death of nearly two hundred victims.
Phillips and Kotz come out of the gates swinging with this historical drama based on true events. This issue dives deep into Nazi-occupied France to tell the story of Doctor Marcel Petiot, a savage serial killer preying on the disenfranchised French Jews attempting to escape Paris. The Butcher of Paris #1 does excellent work setting the stage– introducing the major players and well as the social tone and the intricate dynamics at work in occupied France– for what promises to be a tale that will force the reader to look inward at their own sense of humanity and empathy. The pacing is quick with no time wasted getting to the heart of the narrative. There is a true sense of survivalism being cultivated in this book which will certainly pay off once it comes time for Petiot’s trial.
Stylistically, we see Kotz deploy an interesting blend of realism and cartooning that helps keep the book from veering over the edge from thriller to pure “shock and awe” horror (at least thus far). Violence permeates the story yet violent actions are the sole purview of the gutters, letting readers fill in the gaps with their own imagination. Even the reveal of Petiot’s victims’ remains is obscured, scattered, in a way that invites the reader to let their imagination embellish the hellish scene in their minds. Off to a strong start, I am anxious and excited to see how Phillips delivers on the promise of exploring the national mindset of a region that saw 85 million deaths and balked at this man’s addition to the count.
The Butcher of Paris #1 (Phillips, Kotz, Wordie, Peteri) sheds a terrifying light on a monster nearly lost to history and the limits of human empathy.
The Butcher of Paris #1: Savagery in the City of Light
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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