The Stretcher Bearers
by Reid Beaman and Ryan Beaman
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Pub Date 20 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2022
Maxwell Fox didn’t know what he would witness in France. America had only been in the Great War since April 2, 1917. Nothing could have prepared him for the horrors that awaited him and the rest of the men of the 4th Infantry “Ivy” Division. As the Meuse-Argonne Offensive raged on, Maxwell became assigned to a unit of stretcher bearers, men who were tasked with running into harm’s way to rescue their fallen brethren from the clutches of death. This wouldn’t be an easy job, but with Graham, Frank, and Ralph by his side, Maxwell had to rely on his team and hope to survive. A dark and honest look at the bond of brotherhood during war, The Stretcher Bearers tells the unforgettable tale of a young soldier trying to save the lives of wounded soldiers and keep the men he’d formed a bond with alive. But in the “war to end all wars,” no one was safe.
“STRETCHER! A wounded soldier’s survival depended on the stretcher bearers, unarmed, searching for the shouts and agonizing screams of their brothers in arms. Reid’s gritty, war-torn drawings and layouts of the landscape immerse you in the battle while Ryan and Reid’s pulp-styled, deft writing keeps it a page-turner. I eagerly await more from this duo!” —Mike Lilly, comic artist; Nightwing, Detective Comics, Vampirella
“Rather than a battle action piece, the work harkens back to mature, realistic war comics such as EC’s Frontline Combat or Marvel’s The ’Nam, and the emotional ending tears at the heart without being manipulative. This is a solid historical war narrative—and an intense and moving portrayal of brotherhood.” —Publishers Weekly
“The Stretcher Bearers is an exciting, hard-hitting historical graphic novel.” —Foreword Reviews
Average rating from 27 members
Delightful isn't right word for this book, but it was definitely well written and drawn. This is a stirring account of what medic teams during World War I went through on the front lines. Constantly dodging artillery shells while running around aimlessly looking for wounded. Wounded who might not even make it if they do get them off the frontlines. This graphic novel catches the horrors medics teamed face back in the day and the mental trauma that they suffered from while still trying to complete their duties. An excellent read for those into learning about the horrors of war.
I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This review will be posted closer to the publishing date on Goodreads and any retail outlets.
A great graphic novel with excellent artwork and a well done story. I really enjoyed the story and this book is a quick read. Once you start, you will not want to put this one down! Although this is fictional, it really captured the intense combat situations and the horrors of war, the men who were stretcher bearers went through in WW1. An truly inspirational book.
Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Not a huge fan of war stories but this made me tear up. The things these men went through were incredible and horrible and stories like this ensures they are never forgotten.
I have to be honest, I did not know the United States was involved in World War I. Certainly shows my ignorance, BUT.. it's never too late to learn.. So here we have the story of a unit of stretcher bearers for the American 4th Infantry Division, specifically about a young soldier called Maxwell Fox.
It's a gripping story, that doesn't shy away from the horrors of war - how could it be, it's literally a book about the people carrying away the wounded. There is a slight disonance between the art style regarding characters, which makes me think of original Archie comics, and the pretty graphic violence, but it works.
Thank you Net Galley for the ARC of The Stretcher Bearers by Reid Beaman and Ryan Beaman. I love historical fiction and this graphic novel fit the bill. It is set in WW1 with a group of soldiers that work through their fluctuating emotions of as part of the crew that run into the fray to pick up injured men to get them to the field hospital. At first, I wanted the illustrations to be in color, but the more I read I grew to like the two tone colors better as I could see the colors in my mind of the events on the page. I loved the characters Maxwell and Graham and how the veteran helped the young soldier and then how at the end the young soldier returned the favor. As a new graphic novel reader, I am looking forward to more stories by these authors.
This historical graphic novel is well written and well illustrated. While the images can be considered graphic it is appropriate within the context of the book. This is a good representation of a young soldier's experiences in WWI. I recommend this for adult graphic novel collections.
This graphic novel takes place during WWI. It follows the experiences of four members of the Medic group, The Stretcher Bearers. They had to follow behind the troops, waiting for someone to call out for a “stretcher”, then find a way to get the wounded to the first-aid tent before they die or they get shot trying.
They saw some very horrible things, men shot, blown-up, some clinging to life even when pieces were missing, having to collect the miscellaneous pieces of soldiers who had been hit by shelling. Not pretty stuff at all.
Yet in the middle of all of this, a brotherhood is found, care is given, even love. The main protagonist, Maxwell Fox, was underage when he joined up. Just 16 years old and seeing such terrible things in the trenches of France. But he was looking to belong to something, to be wanted and needed by anyone for something good. He found that in the service. Yes, it was hell, but for the first time, he belonged and felt cared about and cared for.
When he is finally sent home, he finds that the affection he found from his fellow soldiers and mentors, would bring him the one thing he never dared wish for or dream of.
It seems strange to call a book about such a gruesome subject beautiful, but that is exactly what I found it to be. Beautiful.
It makes it so obvious that even though it didn’t have a name then, PTSD existed long before now. Soldiers had scars that could not always be seen on the outside.
The ending actually brought a tear to my eyes. Recommended, but be aware the pictures can be quite graphic in nature.
Thanks to @netgalley, Dead Reckoning, and Reid and Ryan Beaman for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion
I appreciate how graphic this graphic novel is, the illustrator does not shy away from showing you the horrors of war.
While this story focuses on a group of four American stretcher bearers during World War I, it also provides a glimpse into the type of warfare used at the time and the horrific conditions the soldiers had to endure (i.e. never ending rain, delays of reinforcements and medical aid due to road conditions, inability to heat food, etc.). The author and illustrator did a good job of highlighting the mental and emotional tolls the war took on the soldiers as well.
Overall, a good story. Would recommend.
Maxwell Fox is a stretcher bearer with the AEF at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne. The opening scene sets the stage for what the reader will experience as Maxwell's mind flashes back to when the battle begins. He and his mates (Ralph, Frank, & Graham) go over the top following the infantry as they advance on the German lines. Over the next two weeks, the group bring wounded back to the aid stations, suffering through rain, mud, shelling, ambushes, rats, wolves, and gas attacks until the opening scene plays out. In all, a grim tale of courage not in facing the enemy, but of facing one's own fears while trying to assist others in need. The color scheme is very appropriate to setting the mood of the story. A very interesting story told well.
Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this tale.
Most accurate rating is 3.5 stars, I rounded up to reward the history lesson it offers. This graphic novel is done in a monochromatic color scheme....using black, blue, gray, & white....all the way through the book. The only colors/other coloring is on the front cover of the book. This coloring lends a dark, dank, dreary, almost fearful, hopeless mood to the book. The drawings also convey the noise, chaos & mess that was WWI trench warfare...& yet also the bravery & determination of those who fought there. The title is perfect, & this offering (the 1st from this illustrator & author brother duo) is well done. A good portrayal of WWI history in GN form.
I received a complimentary e-ARC of this book from publisher Dead Reckoning (a division of the Naval Institute Press) via NetGalley, in return for reading it & posting my own fair/honest review.
Very cinematic and moving depiction of what it was like to be in the trenches in World War 1. While the character revelations, plot beats, and resolution are a bit standard, the horror of trench warfare and the bonds and friendship that were formed (and what happened when they were so violently severed) was really well explored. The art was a bit cartoonish, but it somehow didn't take away from the oppressive atmosphere and terrible aspects of war.