Son of Hitler begins by cultivating a certain set of expectations with its cover and set up and proceeds to spend its time by subverting those expectations. The story is largely set in occupied France during World War II and follows Pierre, an angry young man that is told he is Hitler's son and that he has a chance of killing him.
From there it might seem easy to predict where the story will go, and the writer spends a lot of time encouraging this belief. The earliest pages with Pierre follow a structure that has come to be conventional for narratives in which someone discovers they have a hidden heritage. There is a kindly mentor, a mysterious stranger who comes seeking Pierre's help, and an inciting incident that provides him with the motivation to undertake the mission that is highlighted by the book's cover art. To go into much further detail would be to take this review into spoiler territory, but the set up for the book is very different from what it turns out being. By subverting expectations in this way, Son of Hitler succeeds in emphasising the tragedy of its tale and in delivering a few surprise turns.
Although the cover is in full colour the book itself is drawn entirely in shades of grey. It is a colouring choice that suits the tone that Anthony Del Col, Geoff Moore, and Jeff McComsey are going for. The characters main goal may be heroic, but the book never tries to shy away from the dark nature of the time and place that it is set in.
Son of Hitler works hard to build up a set of expectations only to work equally hard (if not harder) in foiling them. What it does deliver is a murky, tragic, spy thriller that spends its time on the things that people have to do in order to achieve victory in the backdrop of a large-scale conflict rather than lionising its characters for achieving their end goals. Readers looking for a character-driven spy thriller told in equal measures of intrigue and contemplation should check this book out.
SON OF HITLER / WRITERS: ANTHONY DEL COL, GEOFF MOORE / ARTIST: JEFF MCCOMSEY / LETTERERS: JEFF MCCLELLAND, SHAWN ALDRIGE / PUBLISHER: IMAGE COMICS / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 5TH