As I might have mention earlier (thousands of times), the comic book market in Poland isn’t as advanced as I would have wanted. Foreign titles are rarely translated and when they are the print is very, very low. Shipping originals, on the other hand, is unprofitable.
When it comes to our national comic book legacy, I’m not really a fan. Most of our graphic novels are just as our movies – sad, emotional and tragic. But if you’re in for a little action, there’s something in that department too. May I present – The White Eagle.
The White Eagle (pol. Biały Orzeł) is the title for the first Polish superhero comic book and the name of main character who brought completely new quality into comic books. Aleks Poniatowski, proudly named after one of Polish kings, assumed secret identity of White Eagle after what was supposed to be a fatal fall from 15th floor. Thanks to post-communist technology he becomes a superhero.
Although his origin story might seem a little cliché, the plot is quite intriguing. The protagonist gets involved in affairs beyond him, putting himself as well as his formidable side kick Hudini at risk. Even more intriguing are the secondary characters: Black Death (Czarna Śmierć), Cursed Knight (Rycerz Wyklęty) and Wiktor Ross.
What I most love about this series is that it’s Polish to the very core yet it doesn’t directly touch the subject of martyrdom that is so popular (in other words: abused) in Polish culture.
Biały Orzeł #1 was published in December 2011 by Wizuale. The authors – Maciej and Adam Kmiołek –until now have been working together on every single issue. Issue #8 is supposed to be out this month.
Although critics’ opinion about Biały Orzeł wasn’t always favorable, I see a lot of potential in the series. No matter the future, I had the pleasure of being a witness to a breakthrough in Polish comic book repertoire.