The Life Eaters by David Brin and Scott Hampton
HCVR/Graphic Novel: ISBN 1401200982 PubDate: 10/01/03
Review by Daniel P Dern
144 pgs. List price $ 29.95
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DC INFO PAGE:
You may vaguely (or clearly) remember David Brin's 1986 novella, "Thor
Meets Captain America" (I do), not actually featuring Marvel
Comics' Captain America, nor, as one might have expected from the
title, Marvel's version of Norse thundergod Thor (and his mighty
better-return-to-sender-in-sixty-seconds hammer, Mjolnir) (at least in
Marvel's original Thor, who would otherwise revert to human Dr. Don
Blake... although, I gather, this isn't currently the case).
Here's the comic book, sorry, graphic novel based on Brin's
novella, expanded plotwise, with strong, good art by Ascott Hampton.
Think Phil K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle meets Jim
Krueger's Earth X/Universe X/Paradise X just-wrapped-up
comic book mini-series, sort of. (Assuming you followed them, and read
Anyway: It's World War II, still... and, thanks to the unexpected
intervention of what appears to be a gaggle of Aesir -- Norse Gods --
(Odin, Thor, etc.) and others, the Allies ain't doing so well. In fact,
they're running out of time, resources, hope, and pretty much everything
For no known reason, Loki, god of big mischief, is with, although not
helping, the Allies. He's with the crew of a secret submarine mission.
Things look grim. Bloody apocalyptic grim.
And are the Aesir simply helping out those Germans -- or do they have
some deeper game in mind? For that matter, where did all them gods come
from? (That's the Earth/Universe/Paradise X aspect,
If you want more plot spoilage, go find another review; I'm not going to
spoil the surprises and plot twists.
This is not a cheerful book. The art is good, and appropriate to the
topic -- realistic. I'm not sure how "good" it as as a comic
book/graphic novel; it's not bad, but feels like it was done with
someone who, well, doesn't have the mastery of the form that we've
gotten spoiled from thanks to Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore,
Jeph Loeb, not to mention Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Carlos
Pacheco... or it may be that the style and pacing are a reasonable
realization of the plot, content, mood, and whatnot.
Life Eaters is worth reading, but unless you're a complete
collector, probably not something you need to own and will want to
re-re-read. So borrow a copy, buy and resell, or see if your library
will get it. Like I said, recommended though.
Related note: If DC Comics has any information
whatsoever about this book on their site, you may or may not be able to
One of the several times I went to DCcomics.com there was a
main-page promo at one point, but not the other times (things are in
rotation, I guess). I don't see any info on the site under DC Comics,
Wildstorm, Graphic Novels, etc., and DC continues to not have a search