PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of WAR BEARS #1 from Dark Horse Comics. Available on Wednesday, September 5th, the issue features a story from Margaret Atwood & Ken Steacy, and illustrations from Ken Steacy.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale, comes this historical fiction graphic novel tracing the Golden Age of comic books.
Oursonette, a fictional Nazi-fighting superheroine, is created at the peak of World War II by comic book creator Al Zurakowski who dreams of making it big in the early world of comics publishing.
A story that follows the early days of comics in Toronto, a brutal war that greatly strains Al personally and professionally, and how the rise of post-war American comics puts an end to his dreams.
International and New York Times best-selling novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Ken Steacy collaborate for one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events!
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
WAR BEARS #1
Margaret Atwood, a name known in multiple circles for being a gifted author and poet. Now, she’s cutting her teeth on a historical fiction comics series. Margaret’s script for the first issue of War Bears is a wonderful and delightful read. A callback to the heyday of the Golden Age of Comics, during the darkest days of World War II. Margaret introduces fans of her works and Dark Horse readers to budding Canadian comics artist Al Zurakowski and his marvelous creation Oursonette. Whatever direction this throwback tale will go, it’s a sure bet that Margaret will keep knocking it out of the park, just like with issue #1.
Ken’s artwork, oh wow, is it great. The detailing on everything, the characters, the buildings, the scenery, it’s all rich and fully fleshed out. Paired alongside Margaret’s story, they create a fabulous world of 1940’s Toronto, and the brand-new booming world of superhero comics. His layouts are eye-catching and will the reader across the page as they delve into this issue #1. Plus an added bonus, his artwork brings to life Al Zurakowski’s first ever Oursonette story, giving them a taste of what is to come as the series continues.
PopCultHQ’s Overall Assessment:
If people are fans of Margaret Atwood and her amazing writing, then this is the comic for them. And if they are equal fans of throwback comics to a time when the world was on the brink and superheroes were a fresh concept bringing four-color hope to the world, then they will love this series even more. With stellar artwork from Ken Steacy, issue #1 is sure to be a hot seller and begs the promise of more great material from this team to come.
5 out of 5 Stars
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and spent the earlier part of her youth in the woods for two thirds of every year. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace — both of which have recently been serialized for streaming — The Blind Assassin (which won the Booker Prize in 2000), The MaddAddam Trilogy, The Heart Goes Last, and Hag-Seed, a novel re-visiting of The Tempest. Her most recent collection of poetry is The Door. Her non-fiction works include Survival, her 1972 attempt to demonstrate that Canadian literature did — at that time – exist,Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, and A Writer on Writing. Her most recent graphic series is Angel Catbird. She has served in various capacities with several organizations, including PEN International and BirdLife International. She continues to be surprised by human behaviour, both noble and not.
Ken decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book author/illustrator, a dream he realized in 1974. Since then, he has worked in the industry as writer, artist, art director, editor, and publisher, chronicling the exploits ofAstro Boy, Iron Man, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars gang, to name but a few. In addition to creating his own intellectual property, he has also collaborated with other writers, including Douglas Coupland, Harlan Ellison, and Trina Robbins.
He is the recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, and in 2009 was inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the industry. He currently teaches Comics & Graphic Novels at Camosun College in Victoria BC, a visual storytelling program he co-created with his wife, author/illustrator Joan Steacy.
Publisher – Dark Horse Comics