Pacheco and Busiek’s ‘Arrowsmith’ Reimagines A Familiar Story
We all know the story: a young soldier marches proudly off to war, his or her (usually his) uniform pressed and tidy, chest puffed out, only to learn that war is Hell. It’s one of the first narrative deconstructions we encounter growing up in Western culture, so much so that it in some ways becomes the new narrative. But any story can be kept fresh with the right elements, and by knowing how those elements are going to interact with the narrative. Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s Arrowsmith is a fine example of this genre, set in a world full of magic and fantasy where the equivalent of the first World War is underway, grinding many an inexperienced soldier-mage like Fletcher Arrowsmith under its wheels.