Review: The Harlem Hellfighters

The Harlem Hellfighters – Max Brooks

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The greatest war story you’ve never (yet) seen on the big screen, The Harlem Hellfighters reads like an action movie put on the page.  In the depths of World War I, hundreds of thousands of Americans enlisted to fight in the trenches.  The African-Americans who fought were relegated to menial labor outside the battlefield by the U.S. Army…except for the Harlem Hellfighters.  Fighting under France’s banners, the Hellfighters rose above the United States’ racist military policies to become one of the most decorated regiments of the war.  Max Brooks retells their story in a fast-paced graphic novel illustrated by Canaan White’s stark black-and-white art.  While the thick lines used in the artwork can occasionally make the visuals difficult to follow, White adeptly conveys the chaos of war.  A rousing paean to a group of forgotten African-American heroes, The Harlem Hellfighters should become a favorite among graphic novel fans.  The recently optioned film rights will undoubtedly bring additional interest to the work.


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