The Butcher of Paris #5
The war is over and Detective Massu finally catches Dr. Marcel Petiot-- the Butcher of Paris. But as Petiot heads to trial, how much will the court allow him to subvert the audience? Will he be convicted?
The concluding issue of The Butcher of Paris is the one we’ve all been waiting for. The wait was extended as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and caused massive interuptions for a great many aspects of everyday life. The comics industry was not immune as shipping stoppages delayed countless books, including the finale of The Butcher of Paris.
In the opening issue, writer Stephanie Phillips pointed towards the trial as a moment of a terrifying national apathy. In the wake of a foreign occupation and a particularly brutal war, the twenty-seven murders Petiot was accused of seemed… small. So as he grandstands on the stand, a charming and somewhat handsome man, there is inclination to be entertained despite the severity of the claims and the setting. This premise was what drew me towards this book and it certainly delivered on its promise. What I had not expected, though, was the global escalation on such a number of fronts that would make this book feel like a terrifying harbinger of the horrors of 2020.
The image of a man such as Petiot standing before the court and media and claiming “my first murder! I assume, of course, you have witnesses” seems an obvious nod to other such brazen leaders on the global stage today. Clearly Petiot is more charming than most of the current power players but the feeling of diversion remains the same. Be it thousands of positive tests, be it dead black men at the hands of those who are to “serve and protect”, be it twenty-seven murder victims– these evils laughed at openly in the court of public opinion are incredible disturbing and Phillips and Kotz do a masterful job of capturing that sensation in these pages. In a year that is far stranger than any fiction, The Butcher of Paris is one of my picks for series of the year.
The Butcher of Paris #5 (Phillips, Kotz, Wordie, Peteri, Johnson) sees the trial of serial killer Marcel Petiot turn circus thanks to a terrifyingly familiar sort of national apathy.
The Butcher of Paris #5: Disorder in the Court
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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