By Fabien Nury, John Cassady and Laura Martin

The original French series I am Legion is collected as a trade paperback and, whether you’ve read the series or not, it is well worth the price. This is one of those comics that transcends the medium and becomes a true collectible. It is both an artistic achievement as well as a wonderful story that you’ll want to revisit again and again. Set amongst the backdrop of World War II, I Am Legion masterfully injects a strong dose of vampiric-horror into what is otherwise the comic book equivalent of a spy novel. Writer and creator Fabien Nury (Tyler Cross) channels the likes of legendary spy novelist John le Carre while creating an equally legendary story of his own. It is comprised of familiar ingredients like intrigue, war, betrayal both subtle and bold, secrets and revelations, but there’s a lot of blood and gore too. Thanks to this collected trade the story is now a true page-turner, if not for the many reasons to take pause and admire the artwork by multiple Eisner Award winners and longtime collaborators, John Cassady (Planetary) and Laura Martin (Black Panther).

That may be sufficient enough reason to quit reading this review and go grab the book right now.

Once again Humanoids continues to publish top quality comics from overseas. The combination of writing and artwork makes for one of the most cinematic experiences you might have reading a comic book. Everything about this book is directly on point. It is as beautiful and it is well crafted. Martin does some of her most signature coloring when working with Cassady who in turn gives her plenty of solid material. There is definitely a heightened sense of investment on both of their parts when they get together, but it’s magnified that much more by Nury’s ability to write for comics. The situation may be the Allied forces fighting the Nazis, but the conflict is a supernatural element in the form of a young Romanian girl. Her powers are being exploited and tested by the Nazis in the hopes that the girl will become their ultimate weapon. Nury gives us the story in essentially 3 acts, starting out by introducing an extensive cast of characters, without sparing any necessary dialogue as means of conveying the story and the defining personalities. You may want to take your time in order to keep it straight but it is totally worth it. There are text-heavy scenes to endure, which are later rewarded with fantastic action sequences. However, it’s key to absorb everything that’s put down on the page because the second act builds another layer that pays off in a glorious, and explosive finale. That balance between emotional drama and horror elements is what is so remarkable and it creates a denser story, which relies on equal parts nonfiction and known fiction. Ultimately the results are pure originality.

It’s a story about sacrifice and commitment in service to the respective causes of each side or party. The battle may be between good and evil but it’s delivered from the point of view of those in service to the side they’ve chosen to fight for. There is a constant sense of duty, no matter what the motivation is and you feel it in the characters actions and words. It cannot be said enough that despite being an amazingly complex storyline it still comes across in a way that begs you to keep reading. Word of caution: once you start reading I Am Legion you wont be able to put it down.

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About The Author Matthew Strackbein

Matt Strackbein was born and raised in Maryland but has called Colorado home for the last 17 years where he lives happily in Longmont with his wife. He began reading comic books at the age of seven after discovering a silver age stash in his grandparents’ attic. Comic books inspired Matt to start drawing, which lead to a successful career as a commercial artist. He has worked in the apparel industry for many years as a production artist and designer. His accomplishments include designing backcountry skiwear for world-class athletes as well as downhill ski race suit designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States and Canadian national ski teams. Matt currently works as a freelance textile-print designer, but still dedicates time to his first love – comics. With over 200 letters to the editor published, Matt is a known letterhack. He self-publishes autobiographical comics about his struggles to break into the industry, which finally paid off when Dark Horse asked him to produce 2-page back up stories in recent issues of B.P.R.D. Besides his own comics, Matt collaborates on independent books as a colorist and letterer. He also teaches the art of making comics to students of all ages.