It’s a rare thing when one finds a comic, movie ect. set in Egypt where the characters are depicted as dark-skinned and even rarer when the heroes of said story are. When I first saw the Pack, by creator Paul Louise-Julie, the depiction of a dreadlocked youth carrying a sword made it an instant buy, but little did I know this seemingly historical fiction comic hid dark things.
The brothers Nekhet and Khenti are nubian dogs of war in the service of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenon. They and their cohorts perform the suicide missions that the Egyptian soldiers will not. During one mission Nekhet begins to talk of insurrection and returning to their homeland. After entering the city of Waset, they slaughter the guards and kill their quarry only for Nekhet to be mauled by a large lupine creature.
After the return Nekhet has the bright idea to kill the Pharoah Akhenon and after a brief skirmish he succeeds, running away with his brother toward the docks to make their way home. The duo are however separated and Nekhet is captured only to gain his freedom when he experiences lycanthropy under the light of a full moon. From there his goal is simple, find his brother and return to Nubia, may the Gods help whomever stands against him.
I was gushing when I first saw this comic. A historical fiction comic with black main characters in a semi fantasy setting. Oh it was such a respite. The art was beautiful with a dark color pallet and pencils that obscured certain details to maximize atmosphere. The action scenes in the story seemed inspired by Japanese anime with all the dash lines. Sometimes this hits the mark like when Nekhet cleaves through a group of guards and other times it seems less kinetic than it could be. The story isn’t bad or great but one with potential since this section of history is rarely if ever touched upon. So it goes without saying that I’m gonna stay tuned.
You can purchase the Pack on Amazon.