‘Sheriff of Babylon’ is a Hard Read if You’re of Middle Eastern Descent

GameStop, Inc.

Sheriff of Babylon 1 CoverIt is always difficult reading stories, whether novels, the “news”, or comics about anything pertaining to the Middle East, especially being Assyrian (not Syrian) and Lebanese. It feels that they have about a third of this right without the cultural significance and the divide between tribalism, nationalism, and religious views.

Often it comes across as if Western eyes are being judgmental saying, “Awe, stupid sand monkey. You hold on to your weirdo superstitions.” Fortunately, Tom King didn’t do that this go around. It wasn’t judgmental, it wasn’t head shaking, or have it come across as heavy sighing questioning why any people would go to these extremes.

I’m not sure if Tom King has military experience or has family or friends that were in the service, but from a war-torn society that takes place in the cradle of civilization makes it like a scab that you keep picking at that doesn’t heal.

Co-creator, Mitch Gerads’ art and colors make it feel like looking at old photos family brought over with them from overseas, only this time it is not the joyous memories of their youth, but the tragedy of war that cannot be erased. Images that are burned into your psyche that you bury deep in order to forget the past. It is like when you meet someone who immigrated to the United States and refuses to speak their native tongue as a way to erase everything from before the moment they stepped off the plane in whatever part of the country they chose to reside.

I enjoyed The Sheriff of Babylon, but it really is an open wound that won’t close up. It is something that is tangible and pertinent to the situation going on with Daesh and the lead up to it stemming from the most recent Gulf War.

The Sheriff of Babylon is out now online and at your local comic book store.

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