Pride of Baghdad

Episode 79

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Greetings, Explorers! In our final episode of season 5, the gang takes a look at Pride of Baghdad.¬† It’s a fictional tale based on the true story of four lions that escaped the Baghdad Zoo after the U.S. military bombed Baghdad in 2003. Written by Brian K. Vaughan and artwork by Niko Henrichon.

The story concerns a small pride of four lions living inside the Baghdad Zoo. First, there are Zill and Safa, older lions brought to the zoo after being captured in the wild. Next, there is Noor, who was born in the wild, but has spent nearly all of her life inside the zoo. Finally, her cub Ali was born in the zoo.

Noor is idealistic about life in the wild and sees the zoo and the zookeepers as her jailers. Zill and Safa know the beauty and horrors of life in the wild. They see the zoo as a sanctuary and the zookeepers as their attendants, whereas Noor believes them to be their jailers. Finally, their differing views on life and freedom will be questioned and tested as they try to survive in the war-torn streets of Baghdad.

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Dennis and Johnny start off by discussing a problematic scene in the Pride of Baghdad.¬†Next, they converse about the freedom the lions had or didn’t have in captivity. Finally, they look at the tragic ending and the responsibility us humans have towards animals. Additional topics include the nationwide search for a new GNEC co-host; bear vs. lion: FIGHT!; at what point will DC fold these lions into the main DC Universe; Ali’s first and final sunset; Dennis’s dislike of talking animal stories; and last, but not certainly not least, the storytelling and art of Pride of Baghdad.

Check out our reading lists for previous seasons by clicking here. We would love to hear your suggestions for future episodes of Graphic Novel Explorers Club.

Songe d’Automne by Latche Swing

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