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Nevsky Hardcover – August 21, 2012
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Alexander Nevsky - decidedly the most popular figure in Russian history - is a much-loved historical leader who helped establish the Russian nation by defeating the Teutonic Knights. These invaders were the last vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire and drove out from Germany bringing oppression and religious intolerance with them. In 1242, Nevsky with an army of soldiers and citizens defeated the Teutonic Knights in a spectacular battle on the frozen Lake Peipus, an achievement celebrated in Russia to this day.
Eisenstein was a revolutionary figure who is to Russian film what Chekhov and Tolstoy are to its literature. In 1938, Eisenstein, was already celebrated for his groundbreaking films "Battleship Potemkin" (1925) and "October" (1928), brought the story of Nevsky's battles to life in a stirring epic that featured a score by Sergei Prokofiev. The spectacular closing scene of the Battle on the Ice has been studied by filmmakers from David Lean to Steven Spielberg to Walt Disney Animation. Although caught up in the politics of the time - Eisenstein was frequently out of favor with Joseph Stalin - the film became a worldwide classic.
This is the first-ever graphic novel adaptation of this classic Eisentein epic film, bringing it to a new generation of readers and film-goers. The publisher has assembled an international team of creators for this graphic novel, including English-born Ben McCool and Mexican artist Mario Guevara.
"Nevsky was as much a leader as he was a warrior," says McCool. "His story isn't just a page of little known history; it's an inspiring tale full of strategy and battles and the fight for freedom."
"Nevsky has a compelling story by Ben McCool and breathtaking art by Mario Guevara," says IDW Senior Editor, Special Projects Scott Dunbier. "But the big picture here is Nevsky himself, a larger than life figure from Russian history who literally reaches out from the page and pulls you headfirst into the story-if you liked 300 you'll love this!"
"Nevsky is a great hero to Russians, and this story does full justice to his story," says Mosfilm Cinema Concern Deputy Director Svetlana Pyleva.
This classic story is now told for a new generation in a graphic novel, which brings the heroes and villains of 13th century Russia into the 21st century with an exciting story of battles, heroes, and fierce warrior women: Nevsky, already battle weary from a campaign against the Mongols, who must defend his nation against a new and savage invader; Olga, a fierce shield maiden who cannot be stopped from joining the fray; Vasili and Gavrilo, two soldiers who must overcome their own personal demons to continue the fight; and Hermann Von Bolk, the brutal Grand Knight who leads the Teutonic Knights on a path of destruction.
This new graphic novel is based on Eisenstein's film, and not on the more subtle historical record, which raises questions about Nevsky's appeasement of the Mongol Horde, his use of the Mongols to divide and conquer his princely rivals, and his brutal repression of independent-minded Novgorod. But, never matter, Eisenstein told a good tale (albeit one tinged with the anti-Fascist message Stalin dictated), and this book is full of amazing illustrations and only a few narrative hiccups that forced a bit of back and forth page turning.
As reviewed in Russian Life magazine.