The Butcher in Paris #1 Review

by Nathan Koffler on December 04, 2019

Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Dean Kotz
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Horror stories that are based on real events always have the potential to be absolutely fascinating. The Butcher in Paris tells the story of a serial killer in Paris during WWII who took advantage of the fear the Nazi regime had created. It is a dark and sad story and after reading this first issue, I’m convinced that it is a story that must be told. Not only is it important, but it is actually fascinating and, just as importantly, Stephanie Phillips seems to have the ability to convert the story to the comic book medium in a way that will keep readers hooked.

The first issue of the series isn’t bloody or gruesome, but it is definitely morbid. Nazi-occupied Paris appears to be a place where evil walked the streets and enforced its own laws. This series may be about a serial killer, but so far we’ve already been introduced several monsters. 

Phillips sets the story up similarly to other retellings of serial killer stories. As of now, it seems that we’re going to be following a detective as he investigates the murders. But unlike many other true crime retellings, the issue wasn’t only written from this detective’s perspective. Instead, we received lots of other scenes from other people involved, which gave us a small taste of potentially multiple storylines within one overarching story. The series definitely has both the characteristics of the horror genre and the mystery genre, while also clearly highlighting the historical-fiction parts of the story.

The debut issue’s artwork is absolutely perfect for the tragedy we’re reading about. The visuals set a tone that is melancholy and tense, which definitely seems to be the tone the writing is aiming for. Not only does it capture the gloominess, but it also secures the time period well. Sure, the comic book looks like it came out in 2019, but there is something reminiscent of the time in which the story takes place. Dean Kotz’s excellent artwork isn’t the only thing about this issue that has this effect, Jason Wordie’s coloring plays a significant role in creating the atmosphere of Nazi-occupied Paris in the 1940s. 

The Butcher in Paris #1 is a wonderful start to a sinister tale that is already very entertaining. Although we’ve seen this style of storytelling before, it is very well done and the content is incredibly interesting. 

Our Score:


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