Babylon Berlin HC
Publisher: Titan Comics (Hard Case Crime)
Release Date: February 12, 2018
Price: $24.99
Creator(s): Arne Jysch (writer/artist) and based on the novel by Volker Kutscher
Format: 216 pgs., Black & White, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-7858-6635-7
Age Rating: Mature
ICv2 Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Some readers will already be familiar with this title from the Netflix adaptation of the original novel into an ongoing series.  This volume, taking place in Berlin in 1929, is a brilliant piece of noir crime fiction in graphic form.  There are no good guys in this story, only ones nominally for or against the law of the time.  It’s a dark, grim story, with Arne Jysch adapting Volker Kutscher’s original work into this visual form.  Jysch has done a good job of making the reader turn pages, even with repugnant characters and plot threads.

In this volume, a police detective gets caught up in a bizarre set of crimes and an even more bizarre set of events, involving Russian gold, dead bodies, and moving the blame around for a host of things.  Because he’s new to the Berlin police department, he has few local resources to draw upon, so his involvement in things does not go at all smoothly.

This graphic novel would appeal to readers of things like "The Girl Who…" series by Stieg Larsson.  It is very adult, containing a lot of violence, drug use, and other things which probably shouldn’t be done by kids or teens.  Or adults, really, as this book is very much about portraying the results of bad behavior.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.