Tag Archives: The Sheriff of Babylon

This Year’s Finest 2016: Best Single Issues

As 2017 begins to unfold, Nothing But Comics draws its coverage of 2016 to an end with my list of Best Single Issues. All entries are listed alphabetically by title.

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Review of The Sheriff of Babylon #8

The Sheriff of Babylon 8 John Paul Leon
John Paul Leon

By Tom King & Mitch Gerads

One of the reoccurring motifs of Tom King’s compelling series The Sheriff of Babylon has been the contrast between appearances and reality. For example, there is Sofia, navigating a sea of competing interests. Having returned from exile to Iraq in the wake of the U.S. invasion, she is dedicated to reclaiming her family’s once prominent position in the country. To do so requires juggling the interests of U.S. military offices, local strongmen and her own political ambitions, to say nothing of her more private desires. For each faction, she has presented a different aspect of her personality, which taken together form a fascinating character. Variety of perspective can create confusion, such as the fog of conflicting authorities that surrounds Baghdad. Yet, it can also allow for the complexities of human nature. King avoids simplistic stereotypes in order better understand the deep currents of emotion surging through the Iraqi capital.

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Review of The Sheriff of Babylon #5

the-sheriff-of-babylon-5 John Paul Leon
John Paul Leon

By Tom King & Mitch Gerads

Empathy is a difficult virtue under the best of circumstances. During wartime, it can feel like a downright impossibility. Yet, this important quality is the focus of the latest chapter of Tom King’s portrait of Iraq in the aftermath of The Second Gulf War. The previous issues had focused on a variety of personalities in order to create a tapestry of life under the American occupation. #5 does something different, as King dedicates the entire installment to one late night conversation between two characters. The result is a humane portrait of individuals grappling with how to connect and make sense of their lives.

 

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