Four Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat Graphic Novel Review

From Ben Towle. Published by Dead Reckoning.

We’ve heard about certain animals used in battle all of our lives. Horses, “of course of course”. Hannibal and the elephants. Then there are stories in this book that are to be expected – dogs, carrier pigeons – and ones that will blow your mind – seagulls, slugs! And so much more.

Four Fisted Tales features some but not all of the times animals have been used to assist in times of war. Beautifully written and drawn by Ben Towle, this needs to be remembered come 2021 awards time. Every story is entertaining as hell, but also informative. I told my kid some of the stories in here, I told co-workers, I’ve sent links and photos to friends and family members. You don’t have to be a comic or military history lover to get something out of this book. A curiosity of unlimited potential in both humans and animals is all it takes. Any interest in cool things in life is enough to devour this in one sitting.

These stories aren’t secret, well the dolphin one might be, so it’s not really a comic that could be spoiled. The fun is in falling in love and/or falling in awe to each and every animal inside. Dogs that did more for their country and for the lives of their fellow soldiers than most of its citizens. The legacy of cats and ships. Rats and landmines is a beautiful story that gives hope for a safer tomorrow. We rely so much on phones and the internet for communication but it’s hard to beat the speed and reliability of a carrier pigeon. I have to leave some surprises but seriously, the slug story is just incredible.

I am not a pet person, but I cannot deny the world is a better place for people because of animals. Mental health, therapy, and just flat out companionship from a variety of animals. I never thought of it on a world level though. Wars aren’t won or lost in an instant. History has many pieces that come together in order to move society forward. This book (and I would love more to come) shows the effects animals have to win some of those battles, to move some of those pieces forward, and to hopefully help turn the tide.

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