The Lion of Rora

This is the true story of Joshua Janavel, farmer-turned-freedom fighter, who Napoleon called history’s greatest military tactician. Janavel and his fellow Waldensians battled to save their people from tyranny and persecution, the first case in European history in which subjects of a ruler rebelled to defend their religious freedom. Their fight inspired the Protestant Reformation and, in turn, the American Revolution.

History and I have never been on the same page. For instance, I don’t know what the Ottoman Empire is and I tend to fall asleep at museums. It’s not that I don’t appreciate history, I just already know how it all ends (with my existence). In high school, I got a C minus in World History. I don’t even remember what my teacher looked like! If The Lion of Rora proves one thing, it is that true historical accounts make for incredible reading.

The Lion of Rora is in fact not a lion, but a man. Joshua Janavel was just another 17th century common folk until he decided that he was tired of being pushed around. The lion inside was awakened, and Mr. Janavel turned into a full on badass. His story is riddled with incredible military tact and Braveheart-tier speeches. Joshua and his soldiers ride into battle carrying the ideal that it is better to die free than to live imprisoned. They’re right, this is why I devote four hours a day to yelling at McDonalds.

I was initially thrown off by The Lion of Rora being in black and white, then I remembered that color was not yet invented in the 17th century. Really though, the lack of color does not really hinder this book as much as I thought it would. My only real complaint is that the comic’s plot is a little black and white, much like the art. The antagonists are portrayed as mustache twirling fiends who abuse their power and demean those beneath them. Then again that could be a factual characterization, as any sort of religious oppression is hard to sympathize with. The Lion of Rora was an incredible read. They say those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, well I know this history so I won’t…repeat it? I don’t know, read this comic. It’s good to feel like history and I are on the same page.

The Lion of Rora was brought to you by Oni Press. Take a gander at their website, like them on Facebook or order a copy at Amazon.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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