Illustrated by Werther Dell'edera
The War is over, and Russian soldiers evict German citizens from Prague to return to their country. In the midst of this, a puppeteer asks to tell a Russian soldier a horrifying tale, and the two sit in front of his puppet stand. The puppeteer begins with Radek, a Jewish doctor who has papers hiding his true heritage. He treats patients in the hidden basement of a shop, where one tells him of a golem whose mud lies in the rafters of the synagogue. The golem is the sworn protector of the Jewish people, and he begs Radek to help bring him to life. Being a man of science, Radek believes none of this, but finds mud in the rafters and appeases the professor with an attempt. He is stunned beyond measure to find he has risen a true golem named Yossel!
The ending of this story was rather anti-climatic. Radek gathers mud to make more golems but doesn't. Yossel believes the evil against the Jews this time is too much for him to fight, so he sort of walks off into the sunset. We are left without knowing what happens to any of the characters, though I'm sure we can surmise what happened via historical context. It isn't ever made clear as to why the puppeteer is telling the story to the Russian soldier to begin with. This volume collects five single-issues, and the first four are pretty rock-solid. The last issue is the only really dissatisfying part as it fades away pretty quickly without a lot of closure.
There is some violence and folks are killed off panel, but we see their dead bodies afterwards. This violence and the needed historical context of World War II might make this better for older high school audiences. This would appeal to readers who like historical fiction set in and around WWII.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
ISBN: 9781950912612 (Hardcover)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Historical Fiction, War, Supernatural
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