Bear’s Tooth 4. Amerika Bomber

Bear’s Tooth 4. Amerika Bomber
Bear's Tooth 4 Amerika Bomber review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Cinebook - 978-1-80044-086-9
  • Volume No.: 4
  • Release date: 2016
  • English language release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781800440869
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

It’s been a long wait for Cinebook to complete Bear’s Tooth in English, particularly as Werner seemed to have ended with all secrets revealed before a Ben Elton-style finale where everyone dies. Thankfully that’s not the case, nor does writer Yann take the wild divergence from reality indicated over the opening pages. Instead he moves from dream to the reality of the destroyed secret airbase and Werner regaining consciousness in the ruins.

Once again, Alain Henriet’s pages stun from the start with their detail, imaginative viewpoints maximising interest and sympathetic characterisation. Those imaginative viewpoints are key to the sheer dynamism, as Henriet can take scenes familiar from films and despite the lack of movement create something compelling. The sole use of a spread in Amerika Bomber is of an aircraft hangar, yet the busy activity around the area not only complements the sheer scale of the plane, but supplies a grounding, making it seem real.

If any further proof of Henriet’s way with a layout is required, look at the covers to the six volumes of Bear’s Tooth on the back of the book. Each features a person, either one plane or more, and a view to the distance, yet the variations on that theme are memorable, not least for the bold colour.

Yann does pull the series back on track, but this episode moves into more common action thriller territory. What differentiated earlier volumes was the bond between three childhood friends, how that bond could be sustained during the period of divisive Nazi ideology, and their differing views as adults. While that’s still marginally relevant, the greater prominence at the end of World War II is the threat of one final grand gesture from the Nazis, and the desire of both the Americans and Russians to recruit the Nazi rocket engineers.

Everything unfolds very efficiently, and Yann certainly sets a number of wheels in motion, but when we reach Eva there’s a greater concentration on the people again.