The Butcher of Paris #2
In Nazi occupied Paris, the death toll mounts, but the killer’s motive and whereabouts remain unknown. The investigation uncovers a name—a doctor, whose skill and expertise match that of the meticulous crimes. But is this doctor the sadistic killer operating in the shadows, or just another victim of the Gestapo?
Detective Massu continues the investigation into Doctor Marcel Petiot’s crimes as more and more new evidence comes to light. Building on the promise of the first issue, this sophomore issue thrusts the narrative forward into the uncomfortable spaces of media sensationalism and the depravity of a war torn state. The discorse surrounding the crimes is unsettling to say the least as the detectives and the Nazis alike look into the potential benefits of catching Petiot. Some say he is a French resistance fighter, marking him a potential gain for the Nazis if captured. But his murdering of French citizens also benefits to the occupation. Yet nobody seems concerned with the notion that he is a deranged monster on the loose– only a potential asset if apprehended.
We see that callousness carried forth into the public as the Nazi officers attend a burlesque show based on the killings. At this point in the narrative, the body count remains unknown as the medical examiner continues to talk about numbers in double figures rather than triple. This public and private fascination with the how of the killings versus the why gestures towards the author’s stated intent to explore the state of national apathy to violence amidst greater scenes of violence and it does it to great effect.
Kotz continues to thrive in the gory details of the narrative without crossing the border into shock and awe in his artist endeavors. Wordie’s coloring throughout the burlesque sequence goes to great lengths to establish the upsetting tone of these pages by casting everything in a red hue, simultaneously evoking the red of a red light district as well as the red of the blood pouring into the streets of Paris. There is obvious care poured into each asepct of this surprise hit from Dark Horse.
A suprise hit from Dark Horse, The Butcher of Paris #2 (Phillips, Kotz, Wordie) packs incredible depth of narrative behind gorgeous Dave Johnson covers.
The Butcher of Paris #2: No Treasure in the Seine
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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