Bear’s Tooth 6. Silbervogel

Bear’s Tooth 6. Silbervogel
Bear's Tooth 6 Silbervogel review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Cinebook - 978-1-80044-088-3
  • Volume No.: 6
  • Release date: 2018
  • English language release date: 2024
  • UPC: 9781800440883
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: European, Period drama, War

Although Bear’s Tooth started off being about three people, it’s Hanna who’s come to dominate, her life having taken the most disturbing turn from childhood. She’s believed Nazi ideology, yet on the final pages of Eva she was confronted with the unpalatable truth of Jewish slave labour. It’s on the eve of a final Nazi masterplan, where she’s due to pilot the experimental plane intended to destroy New York. However, Yann has a lot more brewing, some based on known historical facts about troop movements in 1945, around which he’s inserted his fictional cast to ensure Silbervogel finishes Bear’s Tooth in some style. The title translates as Silverbird.

Style is a byword for Alain Henriet’s art, every panel a thoughtfully composed gem. It’s slightly more obvious here than in earlier volumes that both primary creators are influenced by Blake & Mortimer, despite one character being a Tintin substitute, and there’s perhaps a further nod to the flying exploits of Buck Danny. Henriet’s depiction throughout is of flight being thrilling in any form, and that extends to the majestic launch of the Silbervogel itself. It may be a weapon of mass destruction but as sleekly designed by Henriet it’s like a World War II prototype of a Thunderbird.

Silbervogel can be read without reference to earlier volumes, and it’ll be a very satisfying thriller, but what elevates it beyond is obviously the art, yet also the thought Yann’s put into ensuring the plot is dependent on the personalities as they’ve been defined in earlier volumes. At the end of the day all that stands between New York and utter destruction is the ashes of a friendship from twelve years previously. He smoothly ensures the series title is again relevant, and he’s saved one final, impossible surprise.

The emphasis on character has served Bear’s Tooth well from the start, and Hanna proves to be even more complex than expected. The way Yann reveals a truth to readers not disclosed to the remaining cast is a superlative piece of plotting, and it precedes an utterly heartbreaking ending concerning how life could have developed so differently. Silbervogel is a perfect conclusion to a continually engrossing story.