The Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King

The Sheriff of Babylon, Volume 1 by Tom King is a prime example of what makes Vertigo one of the best comic book publishers to be found. They have been doing books like this for ages and have set the standard for realistic comic book drama. Violent and gritty, The Sheriff of Babylon is one of those comics that transcends the genre and begs to be made into a serious film.

In 2003 Baghdad, The War on Terror has been going on for two years and cop turned military consultant, Chris Henry has a fresh set of recruits to be trained as part of the new police force. But after 9/11, the Middle East is the last place that is open to order among its chaos and when Henry finds one of his recruits brutally murdered, he opens an investigation that is felt throughout the region.


The tender balance between tribal and national politics finds itself teetering on edge and Henry must partner up with the last policeman in Baghdad, Nassir, to solve a crime no one wants to look into. Behind the scenes, an American educated Iraqi woman named Sofia manipulates the people and the underworld. Soon, Henry and Nassir will find themselves no match for the shadowy forces they face and they will pay a high price for their involvement.

The Sheriff of Babylon is an intense and honest look at what transpired in a country torn apart by the War on Terror. Chris Henry is not a lone wolf sent into a country of uneducated policemen to save the day. He is far from that. Instead he is a man doing a job who cannot ignore the atrocity he is faced with. Deciding to investigate what appears to be a murder with political implications, he unknowingly sets even more horror in motion. Resulting in even more death, gruesome torture and the death of those he has come to care about.


Tom King was a CIA operative and had first hand knowledge of what happened in Iraq during those years. The Sheriff of Babylon in an unflinching and honest read. Whatever your politics, this is just a damn good book.


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