Arrowsmith

 ARR6   (WildStorm, 2003-2004)

™ and © WildStorm, and imprint of DC Comics

There was a time when stories set in alternate realities were intriguing solely because they were just that: stories set in alternate realities. But the larger number of such titles in recent years, from Luftwaffe 1946 to Rex Mundi, have set a new standard that demands, not only the hook, but also a well-done story to back it up, just like any other comic book.

Busiek’s story doesn’t quite make it. Fletcher Arrowsmith is a teen-ager growing up in the States during World War I, and he longs to fight for justice on behalf of those suffering in Europe. But this is a reality in which the military, as well as the rest of the world, has found a way to tap into the realm of magic; it’s a world where demons and dragons fight alongside mortal men on the battlefield.

Take away this hook, though, and all that remains is an OK intro to a seemingly typical story about an average boy looking to make a difference in the world. Busiek makes a valiant attempt at the high jump but doesn’t clear the bar; the first chapter simply doesn’t hold any interest beyond the Elseworlds-type gimmick.

But Pacheco and Meriño beautifully capture the mix of magic with the mundane, and there is a nagging fascination with this reality that will draw readers back, despite the shallow storyline. It could be better, but, magically, it remains entertaining enough.

— Jim Johnson

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#1

  9/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.75
7 copies available from $0.75
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

#2

  10/1/2003
  $2.95
  $5.75
4 copies available from $0.75
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

#3

  11/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.00
8 copies available from $0.65
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

#4

  1/1/2004
  $2.95
  $2.25
23 copies available from $0.98
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

#5

  3/1/2004
  $2.95
  $2.00
7 copies available from $0.98
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

#6

  5/1/2004
  $2.95
  $2.50
3 copies available from $0.99
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

Book #1

  8/1/2004
  $14.95
  $11.50
1 copy available for $11.50
Collects Arrowsmith #1-6Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco

Book #1 (2nd printing)

 
  $17.99
  $17.99
No copies available
 Kurt BusiekCarlos Pacheco