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Little Bird: The Fight for Elder's Hope

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Award-winning filmmaker Darcy Van Poelgeest teams up with Angoulême nominated artist Ian Bertram to bring you the highly acclaimed dystopian sci-fi, Little Bird. With the same limitless scope as Star Wars, and the social-political explorations of A Handmaid's Tale, Little Bird tells the story of a young resistance fighter battling against an oppressive American Empire while Award-winning filmmaker Darcy Van Poelgeest teams up with Angoulême nominated artist Ian Bertram to bring you the highly acclaimed dystopian sci-fi, Little Bird. With the same limitless scope as Star Wars, and the social-political explorations of A Handmaid's Tale, Little Bird tells the story of a young resistance fighter battling against an oppressive American Empire while searching for her own identity in a world on fire. A gorgeously illustrated epic where one girl risks everything to save her people, their land, and the freedom they so desperately deserve. Collects Little Bird #1-5.


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Award-winning filmmaker Darcy Van Poelgeest teams up with Angoulême nominated artist Ian Bertram to bring you the highly acclaimed dystopian sci-fi, Little Bird. With the same limitless scope as Star Wars, and the social-political explorations of A Handmaid's Tale, Little Bird tells the story of a young resistance fighter battling against an oppressive American Empire while Award-winning filmmaker Darcy Van Poelgeest teams up with Angoulême nominated artist Ian Bertram to bring you the highly acclaimed dystopian sci-fi, Little Bird. With the same limitless scope as Star Wars, and the social-political explorations of A Handmaid's Tale, Little Bird tells the story of a young resistance fighter battling against an oppressive American Empire while searching for her own identity in a world on fire. A gorgeously illustrated epic where one girl risks everything to save her people, their land, and the freedom they so desperately deserve. Collects Little Bird #1-5.

30 review for Little Bird: The Fight for Elder's Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “Save the people. Free the north. Save the land. Save the world.” Little Bird is the first volume of a dystopian science fiction/fantasy comics series by Darcy Van Poelgeest, her first comics series, and Ian Bertram, with colorist Matt Hollingsworth. Little Bird is a young, small, girl, indigenous, bird-like, born into war, her mother kidnapped by the opposition, and so she works to find her mother, join the resistance and find out who she is. The setting is Canada, at war with the United Nations “Save the people. Free the north. Save the land. Save the world.” Little Bird is the first volume of a dystopian science fiction/fantasy comics series by Darcy Van Poelgeest, her first comics series, and Ian Bertram, with colorist Matt Hollingsworth. Little Bird is a young, small, girl, indigenous, bird-like, born into war, her mother kidnapped by the opposition, and so she works to find her mother, join the resistance and find out who she is. The setting is Canada, at war with the United Nations of America, a theocracy called The New Vatican based in what appears to be something suspiciously like The Roman Catholic Church. In case you’re wondering about the level of criticism leveled against said Church here, the first image we see of The Bishop is of him bathing in a tub filled not with water, not even with milk, but blood. You ask where the rage is in the arts about the current rise of fascism in the world? Well, in this one there is a lot of rage. No Gandhian non-violence in this imagined future. “I was lost in the thickening shadows of civilization, in the vacuum that hope had left behind. But I had to keep going, if not for myself, but for you.” The US-Canada conflict in this book reminds me of Brian Vaughn’s one-off science fiction volume We Stand Guard, where the USA at war with Canada over water rights, but deeper, more serious, less Vaughn-style jokey. More righteous wrath. It bears closest comparison to Monstress, with its strong girl character, a search for parents, war, ultra-violence, the peripheral presence of strange creatures, that fantasy feel that you are living within its dream-state. With all the blood, and the surprising loss of favorite characters (hey, I didn’t tell you whom!) it also reminded me of Game of Thrones (I’m just warning you), but without the sex. “A story about my mother, father, and everyone else who tried to kill me”--Little Bird In its take on how children are inculcated into the Church/Nation State, taken from their parants, there are direct references to the hideous history in the US and Canada of first stealing indigenous land and then stealing Indigenous children from the parents, imprisoning them in school settings to attempt to make them into white people, non-Indian. something addressed in the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Canada (not in the US; we don’t apologize for anything we do). In its resistance to government and church control of bodies and minds, it also reminded me of both The Handmaid’s Tale and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. “Right now it’s up to us to save the world. . . Save yourself first and then maybe you can save the world.” Is it relevant to today? We see in this story the insistence by the state in dark (theology-based)-“science.” We may be able to see some reflection in the tale on the rise of theocracy as we observe with shock and horror at the nearly unified agreement by American evangelical Christians (81% of those identified as evangelical voted for Trump), that Trump is Chosen, like the Pope, by God; the most recent to claim this is one of 45’s Holy Men, Rick Perry. “Life itself is not enough. We want a life worth living.” I have been waiting for an explosion of comics/literature about climate change, and this is one where the land and its desecration figures in importantly. With massive sci-fi Star Wars-style battles, though with tentacles everywhere and dream art. “There is a world within me. I am the land”—Little BIrd So: Little Bird, Tantoo, Axe, part of a fledgling, ragtag band of Canadian resistance. And if Monstress is into cats, Little Bird is into owls. Why? Because owls are cool: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/18/us/owl... I like it a lot and will read the next one for sure. It’s bloody, though, so be warned! But not bad for your first comics series volume, Darcy! :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Moi Baltazar

    "People want something to hold onto and they'll make it up if they have to."

  3. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Beautiful art can't save this cliche, religious war, psychedelic storyline. While the fights and overall atmosphere is cold and bitter and works for the brutality, and can be fun, the messy and not very interesting narrative becomes tedious to read through. While I appreciate going for something weird and different, I could't get behind this one at all. Awesome art but meh story with even more meh characters. A 2 out of 5.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    A brutal, bloody dystopian comic about a religious version of the United States that has taken over Canada and the rebel who fights back. The future sci-fi designs remind me of Moebius with some body horror and David Lynch Dune thrown in. Ian Bertram's art is out there. It's not for everyone. I don't like everything he's done, but here I think it fits.

  5. 5 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    Ya know I was actually looking forward to this one... (sigh) What’s it about? So there’s this girl called Little Bird who’s people are killed so she goes to find this big superhero guy so they can kill the bad people who are also some weird church-government. They try to free their people and take their land back. Why it gets 1-star: The story. I should love this story because I have a big interest in history and I’m really into sci-fi so when I saw this sci-fi story that’s meant to be a futuristic Ya know I was actually looking forward to this one... (sigh) What’s it about? So there’s this girl called Little Bird who’s people are killed so she goes to find this big superhero guy so they can kill the bad people who are also some weird church-government. They try to free their people and take their land back. Why it gets 1-star: The story. I should love this story because I have a big interest in history and I’m really into sci-fi so when I saw this sci-fi story that’s meant to be a futuristic version of something tragic from American history I thought I’d love it but no. The writing and many other things really fuck up what could have been amazing. The art. Grrr... One of the main things I hated is the art. It’s like what I’d expect if someone at AdultSwim took a shit-ton of drugs... like more than they do already and made it slightly ugly on purpose. Gosh I hated looking at this thing. I unfortunately couldn’t find a great example (or at least one that fit Goodreads rules) but that might be for the best... seriously. The characters... I did not care about these characters. The villains are bland and typical “doing bad things because evil” types. The big superhero guy is... well that’s basically his character except he’s more violent than most superheroes. Little Bird basically seems like Rey from Star Wars except this time she kills people and wears a bird mask (M-A-S-K! She’s not okay!)... so yeah, still a completely uninteresting character (though the mini plague doctor looking mask she wears is kinda cool but seriously when a plague doctor-ish mask not look cool?). The action scenes would be good if it weren’t for the previously mentioned awful art and the way they’re super short most of the time (like some are just one page of like 5(ish) panels). Also notable is how one scene is just sound effects in mostly blacked out panels... why!?! The comic relief attempts aren’t necessarily awful but fairly weak. It tries quite a few but only one was particularly funny. This book is mostly predictable. The dialogue is terrible. The social commentary is awful. So instead of focusing on the tragic things that happened to a whole group of people in history this book mostly sets it’s sights on religion. Now while that’s a bit annoying I could be fine with that if it made good points and/or a strong argument through storytelling regarding the main subject it tries to tackle. The main point it makes? “Religion bad, mmmkay?” WHAT? There’s no actual argument made, it’s just that the author (I’m guessing) doesn’t like religion but with nothing to really say expect for “religion bad”. There’s a serious lack of world building. I didn’t know about a major problem of the world in this story and what should be a huge deal to what’s happening until towards the end where it’s mentioned in a casual way like it’s something that was obvious in the beginning. So if you know me you know I don’t mind explicit content at all... except for when some books try too hard with it in an attempt to be cool and edgy... this book does that. So a lot of it I didn’t mind like gore in action scenes, alright sure a lot of people are being killed. The only thing I minded about most of the swearing is that it didn’t feel natural but hey, none of the dialogue did and I swear a lot myself so barely worth mentioning. Random floating people with their organs spilling out- Huh? Guy bathing in blood- But... why? Random naked guy with his middle fingers up at nothing- we don’t even know who this guy is or what he’s flipping off! It was stupid shit like that. The ending is kinda meh. Nothing that would even mildly interest me in what’s next (though in all fairness that would be pretty hard). Overall: This book is terrible. I hate saying that because I was looking forward to reading it so the fact that I hated pretty much everything about it is a massive disappointment (and probably part of why this review is so harsh). I see this book is getting mixed ratings so it seems some people enjoyed it... I’m one of the people that did not. My advice and recommendations are as follow: For bad-ass retellings of historic events listen to Iron Maiden (Run To The Hills would be fitting for this subject). For action-packed futuristic science fiction with great world building and social commentary read East of West. For a gory tale that tackles the subject of religion read Preacher. AVOID THIS DISAPPOINTMENT! 1/5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A bunch of unlikeable people take turns killing each in this very, very Euro sci-fi gorefest. I like gorefests, but I really, really hate Euro sci-fi with its purposely obtuse storytelling and fever dream imagery. Yeah, yeah, I know this particular book is by Canadians, but they acknowledge the Moebius influence that is soaked into every page. And, yeah, I don't like Moebius. Get over it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    A brutal and bloody dystopian comic of a group of rebels fighting against a regime of overzealous religious fanatics.⁣ ⁣ The art is ridiculously good! The story feels like a mash-up of dune/akira/madmax and while it is a little tropey and follows a lot of the normal dystopian, scifi, cliches...I still enjoyed the overall narrative.⁣ ⁣ But that art. That's what made the book for me. I kept thinking about how I would love to see a Genndy Tartakovsky animation of this.⁣ ⁣ Its very...bloody and...slippery A brutal and bloody dystopian comic of a group of rebels fighting against a regime of overzealous religious fanatics.⁣ ⁣ The art is ridiculously good! The story feels like a mash-up of dune/akira/madmax and while it is a little tropey and follows a lot of the normal dystopian, scifi, cliches...I still enjoyed the overall narrative.⁣ ⁣ But that art. That's what made the book for me. I kept thinking about how I would love to see a Genndy Tartakovsky animation of this.⁣ ⁣ Its very...bloody and...slippery...though. So if that's not your bag this may not be for you.⁣

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    A story about a hero vs a tyrranical religious movement should be right up my alley. But somewhere around the second issue, my interest in the story started to wane. The dialogue and narration suggested an epicness in scope that the story didn't really deliver on. The grotesque violence was rendered beautifully by Ian Bertram but it was too over the top for me. I found no plot point unexpected, no resolution made me happy or angry. I just wasn't invested in the characters. The villains too cartoo A story about a hero vs a tyrranical religious movement should be right up my alley. But somewhere around the second issue, my interest in the story started to wane. The dialogue and narration suggested an epicness in scope that the story didn't really deliver on. The grotesque violence was rendered beautifully by Ian Bertram but it was too over the top for me. I found no plot point unexpected, no resolution made me happy or angry. I just wasn't invested in the characters. The villains too cartoonishly evil. The protagonists too martryish and magically invincible. Fans of art that ranges from Frank Quitely to Moebius will probably love this book. It also has some Grant Morrisonly appeal. So it's not a bad book. It just isn't for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    like a 3.5...I really enjoyed the first half of this but found the ending to be lacking. https://youtu.be/4Iib9uCQcgw like a 3.5...I really enjoyed the first half of this but found the ending to be lacking. https://youtu.be/4Iib9uCQcgw

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jesús

    Visually stunning and narratively cliché, Little Bird tells a post-apocalyptic tale of resistance and revolution—with a few brief nods to the history and present conditions of Canada’s indigenous population. But as the book builds toward a conclusion, it ends up instead retelling an increasingly muddled version of Star Wars. If not for the beautiful art and action sequences, there would be few reasons to recommend the book. [Read in single issues]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    Interesting mix of sci-fi, religious zeal and politics, with lots of Moebius-like sci-fi art design. Also, lots of gore and violence. If I have one criticism, it's that the character of Little Bird remains a cypher, really only defined by her mission. I'm also not sure it completely sticks the landing. (Read as five single issues)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Philip Shade

    Colorists Matt Holingsworth describes the art of Little Bird as being done in a style that is the "memory" of Moebius and Geoff Darrow. And I think that aptly describes the entire book. It looks and reads like something you're familiar with but, for better and worse, it isn't. Little Bird is a beautiful, incredibly violent, and cyclical tale of revolution and growing up. Unfortunately I think it's reach exceeds its grasp. On my first read I found myself constantly flipping backwards to try and p Colorists Matt Holingsworth describes the art of Little Bird as being done in a style that is the "memory" of Moebius and Geoff Darrow. And I think that aptly describes the entire book. It looks and reads like something you're familiar with but, for better and worse, it isn't. Little Bird is a beautiful, incredibly violent, and cyclical tale of revolution and growing up. Unfortunately I think it's reach exceeds its grasp. On my first read I found myself constantly flipping backwards to try and piece together what just happened both in the visual and written story. And it took a second read to really piece everything together. That said, I found it interesting enough that I read it through twice in one day. Check Little Bird out from your local library. If it doesn't work for you, no loss, if it does pick up a copy from your local comic shop.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Ok, I tried. But this just didn’t work for me. I found I didn’t care, and I should have, as the author wanted me to. I found it hard to get into the story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kait

    I love the character design for Little Bird, especially her mask and how her cloak billows out behind her when she runs. I also liked the title design and the general plot line. But boy oh boy this was a super bloody book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    drowningmermaid

    Am I being too picky about my gore? Pg-13 stuff sometimes makes a big show of coloring within the PG-13 lines. This one-- is very bloody. While I might be rightly criticized here for whining about all the spatter-- I think what I'm really whining about is the lack of cohesion between all the spatter. Maybe I'm spoiled with my manga books. Also-- I'm tired of the Catholics-are-the-devil trope. Hellsing did weird religiousity-lite better. Makes me want to re-read some Stephen Lawhead. I think it's j Am I being too picky about my gore? Pg-13 stuff sometimes makes a big show of coloring within the PG-13 lines. This one-- is very bloody. While I might be rightly criticized here for whining about all the spatter-- I think what I'm really whining about is the lack of cohesion between all the spatter. Maybe I'm spoiled with my manga books. Also-- I'm tired of the Catholics-are-the-devil trope. Hellsing did weird religiousity-lite better. Makes me want to re-read some Stephen Lawhead. I think it's just hard to care about an action piece in which the main characters appear to be unkillable. When they die, you can never be sure if this is really it. And the ending felt a little abrupt for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nore

    Yet again, I pick up a comic because the art seems interesting and I find myself embroiled in some pointlessly trippy mess that thinks obscure imagery is more important than a plot with legitimate complexity and characters with depth. When will I stop falling into this trap? Never, apparently!

  17. 4 out of 5

    unknown

    Started strong, but the last issue or two descended into violent incomprehensibility. I love the art style but I doubt it will keep me going through the next book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marty Dolan

    What do biopunk, Native-American oppression, and Christianity have in common? Well, until March, the answer would’ve been a pretty astounding ‘not much.’ But now, here we are, five months later, at the conclusion of Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram’s Little Bird, a book that many comic critics have already pegged as the 2019 comic of the year. So, what is Little Bird, exactly, besides the biopunk, anti-religious themes, and Canadian Nationalism? Surprisingly, a lot. Through the five (oversized) What do biopunk, Native-American oppression, and Christianity have in common? Well, until March, the answer would’ve been a pretty astounding ‘not much.’ But now, here we are, five months later, at the conclusion of Darcy Van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram’s Little Bird, a book that many comic critics have already pegged as the 2019 comic of the year. So, what is Little Bird, exactly, besides the biopunk, anti-religious themes, and Canadian Nationalism? Surprisingly, a lot. Through the five (oversized) issues, Van Poelgeest and Bertram manage to create an iconic character in the titular Little Bird in the story of her struggles against the fascist church-state of the United Nation of America. Essentially, imagine a future where neo-conservative Christians have taken over North America and are currently waging a holy war against any and all biological mutants and altered individuals on the planet. The last battalion of resistance against the fascist ministry is, of course, a tight-knit band of refugees and militants in a snowy north Canadian village. The leader of this band of misfits is Tantoo, a leader with seemingly superhuman abilities and a dark past, and her daughter, of course, is Little Bird, the hero of our story. In the 40-plus paged issue one, the story doesn’t take it’s time to get going, and before long young Little Bird is thrust into a journey of grief, revenge, blood, grief, more revenge, love, and grief. Seriously, this is a dark and gruesome book, and it seems like every single chapter another awful thing is happening to either Little Bird or one of her friends, including the indestructible Lumberjack grandpa – The Axe – a runaway soldier from the United Nation of America, and a young boy who may or may not be connected to Little Bird in some way – the terminally ill princess-in-the-castle-figure Gabe. Van Poelgeest’s story is haunting with its simultaneous minimalism and focus on world-building. Themes of revenge, grief, and atonement are undoubtedly present in all their Christian glory, but through the lens of a fanatical, biologically-altered world, they all impact readers differently. With the exception of Little Bird and her family, the mutants and freaks the resistance is protecting aren’t a powerful and threatening presence. Instead, Bertram’s creatures of all shapes, sizes, and number of heads ooze a pathetic and hopeless feeling as opposed to the over-the-top-militant demeanor of the half-machine-half-biological sentinels that patrol the New Vatican with fascist authority. Speaking of the New Vatican, while Van Poelgeest’s depiction of Little Bird’s character as a blank slate for revenge is weak at times, his writing really shines in the fanatical-yet-relatable antagonist of the Bishop – the ruthless iron fist of the United Nation of America. Between his delightfully creepy design, tone of language, and tragic backstory, the Bishop is, for the most part, the beating heart of Little Bird. As the issues progress, Van Poelgeest slowly unravels the connection between Little Bird’s family and the Bishop as well as where poor, sickly Gabe fits into everything. As the series goes on and Little Bird’s tendency for gruesome violence might alienate some readers, they simultaneously begin to empathize with the Bishop and all his fucked-up yet in his eyes righteous plans. He begins the story as just a seeming yes-man for the matriarch of the Church-State, and all too eager to execute any war-crimes that may be necessary to win the war against the resistance, but as the story progresses, his character really begins to shine. Thanks to Van Poelgeest’s excellent writing of scenes between the Bishop and his surrogate-and-not-so-happy-about-it son, Gabriel, the Bishop’s character comes off as less evil-for-the-sake-of-the-plot and more like a fleshed-out and almost relatable character. The Bishop is, by all means, the antagonist of the story, and orders enough killings, torture, and all-around awful things to prove it, but the subtle ways his character changes as the story progresses really builds to an amazing climax of desperate fanaticism by the last issue. In many ways, while the violent character of Little Bird stays mostly the same for the whole series, the rising mania and desperation of the Bishop provide most of the emotional escalation in the third act. And, of course, with his story of Native dissension and toxic religion, Van Poelgeest builds an interesting allegory for both the colonial societies which created places like Canada, as well as the fanatism of modern extremists. The fat and pompous matriarch of the church and her army of flying, killer nuns are over-the-top enough to be classified as satire, but the things that they’re saying – not so much. The blind, unwarranted hatred for the freaks and militants has a slightly heavy-handed ring to it, but Van Poelgeest brings up an interesting final message about the not-so-large difference between freedom fighters and terrorists. My only gripe with the story is that while all these ideas are built up so strongly in the first three or four issues, Van Poelgeest doesn’t really manage to stick the landing (a point that’ll be brought up again later) and falls into the classic trap of a violent ending for the sake of violence. A Tarantinoesque ending – not a bad one by any means, but compared to the brilliance the earlier issues hinted at, a bit of a letdown. What’s not a letdown, however, is Bertram’s art. Throughout the series, Bertram manages to create a remarkably consistent yet high-quality set of pages that is delightfully gruesome and has to be up there for the best Biopunk in modern comics. His character designs are a hideous mix of R. Crumb and Richard Corben, with all the rough lines, creepy faces, and minute detail you can imagine. The world-building is at least seventy-five percent thanks to Bertram, and his knack for weird architecture (Tantoo’s village and the New Vatican are both highlights) and the monster design of the refugees builds a really distinguishable style for Little Bird’s world. Bertram’s near future is recognizable, but the environments are harsh, the people mean, and the creatures strange. Blood and guts ooze off the page, both from the many corpses left in Little Bird’s wake, but also in the design of the world itself. The Biopunk here doesn’t only impact mutants, but rather long gooey tubes of something make up all sorts of things in Little Bird’s world, from the wiring of machines to the Bishop’s bathtub. Look no further than the covers themselves for a little mini-story into how Bertram uses the gruesome tendrils and intestines as design pieces. And, somehow, throughout it all, Bertram somehow manages to draw everything from a Machine-made of intestines to a slug monster to a drilling tank to an overweight flying nun all seem reasonable within the world he’s designed – a masterwork of consistency and style. The sad thing about Little Bird, though, is that despite the insane first act of the story, Van Poelgeest’s ideas aren’t able to maintain that same high-quality consistency that the art does. If you pay attention to indie comic blogs, twitter, etc., you’ll remember that back in March the first issue of Little Bird was hailed as the best first issue of a comic in recent memories. With good reason too –Van Poelgeest and Bertram’s first chapter seems to be full of urgency, a good mix of surrealism, poetry, and character, and the distinctive visual style that came to define Little Bird. For better or for worse, you can tell that both creators, but more specifically Van Poelgeest, spent a disproportionate amount of time on the oversized first chapter, crafting it to be as close to exactly right as possible. Which, of course, is a good thing, but the implication is that in later chapters like four and five, the story being told is still by all means better-than-average comics, but at the same time, is missing a lot of the magic that made the first issue as successful as it was. Another minor downfall with Little Bird has to do with the surrealism. While Van Poelgeest has a strong knack for world-building and mystery, sometimes his knack for showing not telling creates more of an air of confusion than anything else. Of course, in the first issue, this inexplicable and strange world helped build Little Bird’s debut into the critically acclaimed beast it was, but when nothing really new is built upon or explained by issues three, four, or five, the surrealism and inexplicably strange nature of Van Poelgeest’s world seems to verge away from ‘surreal and mysterious’ and more to just ‘weird for the sake of weird.’ One last thing about Little Bird that holds it back is that between all the poetry, surrealism, and no-hand-holding-style world-building, the entire series comes off as a bit aloof and pretentious – like if an art-house director had the budget and means to make a sci-fi epic. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I don’t think ether Van Poelgeest or Bertram had it in their intent to make the story that way, but even so, particularly the first couple issues have a strong you’re-not-smart-enough-to-understand-this type tone that could alienate many readers. And, of course, something as little as a slightly pretentious tone is by no means enough to really hurt a book as strong as Little Bird, but as Van Poelgeest and Bertram come back for a season two next year, I’d be interested in them toning down the pretension and ‘artistic-surrealism’ a bit and maybe making the story a bit more accessible. And yes, that’s right – the word is out, Little Bird is coming back. Retroactively subtitling this mini The Fight for Elder’s Hope, Van Poelgeest and Bertram will be returning next spring for a sequel series, probably a mini. Hopefully, after this incredibly strong first showing, the Little Bird world manages to hold on for a second season and perhaps create the next gory, think-piece that comic fans have been waiting on for a while. And of course, between losing steam and the sometimes-snarky tone, the book is by no means perfect, but Van Poelgeest and Bertram have certainly cooked up something very special here, and Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope may just end up going down as not just one of the best books of the year, but of this whole era of Image Comics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tanja L

    The world of the story was excellent and I wanted to see more of it. I wished the plot was more developed, especially the resolution, some things came out of nowhere at the end. I do think it needs to be read twice to connect all the pieces an I liked the beginning way more than the end. The art is really something, very unique.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Y.S. Stephen

    I think one of the strengths of fiction is in that it can use symbolism to makes its point to a great effect. The medium does not have to entrap itself with the rigidity of reality in terms of rules, language, and cliches. Because of that, fiction is able to make good points about the real world that non-fiction finds very hard to make. For example, Goerge Orwell's Animal Farm taught a good lesson about the politics of that time without pretzelling itself with terminologies that would give too mu I think one of the strengths of fiction is in that it can use symbolism to makes its point to a great effect. The medium does not have to entrap itself with the rigidity of reality in terms of rules, language, and cliches. Because of that, fiction is able to make good points about the real world that non-fiction finds very hard to make. For example, Goerge Orwell's Animal Farm taught a good lesson about the politics of that time without pretzelling itself with terminologies that would give too much away about what it was talking about. In short, you could enjoy the tale without any political commentary. Unfortunately, Little Bird fails this test. The point the graphic novel was trying to make - the evils of blind nationalism, power, and religion, falls flat in the sense that there is no cloaking of words, no fallback on symbols, no employment of what makes fiction great. The venom of the writers towards what they consider vices and injustices are made too plain on the page. This error makes enjoying Little Bird quite hard for people they might be trying to reach The art is lovely. Spectacular in many parts. But the story lacks the maturity the art deserves.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Really, really disliked this. I didn’t like the plot or art, not really sure why I bothered to finish.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    "A story about my mother, my father and everyone else that's tried to kill me", set in a theocratic future North America, and between the stylings of the clerical armies and the body horror, there's a definite note of John Smith to this. The aesthetic recalls Prophet meets East Of West, and the protagonist's silhouette even has a hint of Leonora Carrington's Giantess - all good reference points. But little things stopped me entirely connecting, whether it was the overfamiliar underground redoubt "A story about my mother, my father and everyone else that's tried to kill me", set in a theocratic future North America, and between the stylings of the clerical armies and the body horror, there's a definite note of John Smith to this. The aesthetic recalls Prophet meets East Of West, and the protagonist's silhouette even has a hint of Leonora Carrington's Giantess - all good reference points. But little things stopped me entirely connecting, whether it was the overfamiliar underground redoubt of the resistance, or the villains' capital being New Vatican - I can all too easily envision a fundamentalist US, but a Catholic-styled one seems a leap too far in the wrong direction. (Edelweiss ARC)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Little Bird is a beautifully drawn epic of a war between Northern Canada and the Catholics. It's bloody, fast-paced, emotional, with a predictable story line (I guessed all of the "shocking reveals" that unfolded in the story). I would recommend for those who like fantasy-dystopian-battle heavy stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Good lord this was incredible

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I'm bumping this from a 4/4.5 to a 5 because I love so many of the character designs/wardrobes in this book. Fight for the dream!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Collie

    Loved the art, but the story in this was confusing as hell. Really channeling Moebius and Jodorowsky in that sense. A strong aesthetic, will be interesting to see where it goes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Hawpe

    Little Bird is a treat for fans of dark fantasy and weird dystopian worlds. There are shades of a His Dark Materials style totalitarian theocracy in Darcy Van Poelgeest's story, mixed with brutal, Mad Maxian violence and an almost Dune-like combo of science fiction and mysticism. Ian Bertram's visuals are wild, gorgeous, grotesque, and eye-poppingly otherworldly in a Princess Mononoke meets Moebius kind of way. Book one comes to a somewhat satisfying stopping point, yet definitely whets the appe Little Bird is a treat for fans of dark fantasy and weird dystopian worlds. There are shades of a His Dark Materials style totalitarian theocracy in Darcy Van Poelgeest's story, mixed with brutal, Mad Maxian violence and an almost Dune-like combo of science fiction and mysticism. Ian Bertram's visuals are wild, gorgeous, grotesque, and eye-poppingly otherworldly in a Princess Mononoke meets Moebius kind of way. Book one comes to a somewhat satisfying stopping point, yet definitely whets the appetite for a book 2, 3 or more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Decker

    *I received this book as an eARC from Image Comic via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* The description of this book has everything. It's an epic with social-political exploration. There's a young heroine fighting for what she thinks is right. I was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I could not get into it. The art is very unique. There's grotesque elements and disproportion to emphasis the strangeness *I received this book as an eARC from Image Comic via Edelweiss. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* The description of this book has everything. It's an epic with social-political exploration. There's a young heroine fighting for what she thinks is right. I was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I could not get into it. The art is very unique. There's grotesque elements and disproportion to emphasis the strangeness. This is a future with an uber-religious USA, genetically modified human beings, and something called a resurrection gene. The world seems massive, but it was too much for me to grasp. I was hoping to enjoy this book, but it ended up being a DNF for me. The artwork is unnerving, but excellently fits with the story. There's a lot going on. A big world. I think I might have just not been in the right head space for this type of book. I give this book a 2/5.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    *4.25 I enjoyed every blood-covered page. Oftentimes heartbreaking, and yet it still maintained moments of true humor... I love little bird completely.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nica

    Art⭐️⭐️ Story⭐️

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