The Witches Of WW2 by Paul Cornell and Valeria Burzo (graphic novel review)

Based on real people and certain events in the Second World War, the graphic novel ‘The Witches Of WW2’ brings to life the dilemmas of the British government trying to win a war by imaginative means. It’s well-known that Hitler was very interested in the occult. Indiana Jones is a documentary, isn’t it?

Doreen Dominey is working at the ultra secret listening station Bletchley Park when she is approached by another agent who wants to utilise her specialist skills, witchcraft. She’s nineteen and already a war widow. She researches folk traditions but the agent wants her to recruit magicians to use their skills to mislead the German government.

Her first stop is Aleister Crowley, a real life occultist who did offer his services to help Britain at the onset of war, he was rejected, so they say. It’s down to Doreen to recruit a team to kill Hitler or rather to advance the cause of the war.

Before she knows it, she’s on a heath with a coven attempting to bring down the Luftwaffe and that’s only the beginning. With her mismatched team, this is far from an academic exercise as they take on a mission behind enemy lines. It’s a classic story of plucky amateurs giving their best mirroring the conscripts and volunteers who formed most of the armed forces.

‘The Witches Of WW2’ is a ripping yarn and fascinating that the characters are real people although no one is claiming that this is anything other than fantasy. The graphic novel format gives it the super-hero feel and Valeria Burzo’s art work also reminds me of comics like the ‘Eagle’ that would have been around in the 1960s which was still pretty close to the war. It’s a great story and should have widespread appeal.

Available in both real and digital formats. However, try a traditional bookshop as Amazon seem to think it isn’t out yet.

Sue Davies

June 2023

(pub: TKO Studios, 2023. 160 page graphic novel hardback. Price: $19.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-95220-318-3)

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