Arrowsmith: So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms

arrowsmith so smart in their fine uniforms cover trade paperback review kurt busiek
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Great art, smart story

Leaves you wanting more Arrowsmith adventures

Comic Info
Comic Name:  Arrowsmith

Publisher:  DC/Wildstorm

Writer:  Kurt Busiek

Artist:  Carlos Pacheco

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2004

arrowsmith #2 cover kurt busiek

Arrowsmith #2

Reprints Arrowsmith Web Preview and Arrowsmith #1-6 (September 2003-May 2004). Fletcher Arrowsmith wants to help the world. When a war with the Prussians breaks out in Europe, Fletcher leaves his Connecticut home on Lake Erie and joins the Overseas Aero Corps with his friend Jonathan Kerry. As the war rages, Fletch and Jonathan learn to use magic to fly and Fletch falls in love with the daughter of a millionaire named Grace Hilliard. As Fletcher and Jonathan enter the war, Fletcher learns that war is not what he expected and to win the war, sometimes ethics must be compromised.

Written by Kurt Busiek and illustrated by Carlos Pacheco, Arrowsmith: So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms collects the Arrowsmith series plus a web preview. Arrowsmith was published by Wildstorm and was well received by the critics and fans.

I like Kurt Busiek’s approach to titles like Astro City, and I like high concept fantasies…so alternate history timelines fit into that idea.  Arrowsmith:  So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms was something I picked up when I saw it.

arrowsmith #6 cover kurt busiek comic

Arrowsmith #6

Arrowsmith focuses on an Earth that is full of magic. Ogres, vampires, trolls, werewolves, and demons all exist in the world and that has changed some of the ways the world has developed. The United States has a completely different make-up, and Europe is different also. This adds an interesting twist to the story to determine the changes in Fletcher Arrowsmith’s world versus our world. A map of the globe is contained at the back of the collection.  It is also interesting to note that magic is highly looked down upon but at the same time admired by the public.

Carlos Pacheco’s art is fantastic. The series is bright and has a bit of a steampunk feel to it with the technology/magic aspect. I love the character and dragon designs and I’m reminded of the late, great series Leave It to Chance (which I really wish had finished). The art does combine with Busiek’s smart story to really feel like the start of something.

Arrowsmith is a fun collection but it is a downer in that it took so long to do any sort of a follow-up.  After years and years, Arrowsmith returned in 2022 to Image comics as a six-issue limited series called Arrowsmith:  Behind Enemy Lines which also received positive reviews.  Pacheco died in 2022 and the series was one of Pacheco’s last works.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response