What if, at the end of World War II, Hitler didn’t die, but escaped Nazi Germany?
This intriguing question highlighted the 2016 Kickstarter for Hayley Nitz’s Chasing Hitler. Right away the title grabbed my attention, but it takes a lot more than a catchy title and cover art to make a great comic. Once I read the issue, however, I found myself wanting more and wondering what could have been if history had been different.
The issue opens in 1945 Berlin, where Adolf Hitler puts his plan into motion to escape Germany after being betrayed by his closest advisor and the Allies knocking on his front door. Chasing Hitler follows the exploits of Majors Alex Taylor and Conner Walsh in their hunt for Hitler, Adolf Hitler and his lover Eva Braun on the run from The Allies, and Albert Speer. Speer is only present in the opening of the issue and his full involvement in the plot is unknown other than a confession that he has betrayed his best friend, Adolf Hitler.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot here, but Jai and Hayley Nitz have crafted multiple storylines in an issue that ﬂows perfectly from start to ﬁnish. I didn’t feel as though I was lost, and the narrative was easy enough to follow. Even the quick changes of setting are paired well with excited pacing and action scenes.
I found the art to be pleasing to the eye as well, with Jethro Morales (Green Hornet, Dejah of Mars) and Marie Enger (Red Right Hand) providing a feel similar to a brighter version of Nailbiter. While there were panels with simple color backgrounds, the faces of the characters told the story well, and the colors were vibrant and inviting. The artists didn’t go with a gritty feel simply for the sake of being gritty, and I like that.
The characters are what truly drew me into the comic. I was surprised to ﬁnd a cheerful Hitler. Apart from a solemn look in the ﬁrst few pages, our Fürer is a smiling, joyful character who is in love and conﬁdent of his plans. It didn’t make him likable, but it did add a different dimension to the ﬁgure that I didn’t expect. The relationship between Hitler and Eva Braun is broadened and makes them feel like a criminal couple a la Bonnie and Clyde. I do wish that the characters of Taylor and Walsh were a bit more three-dimensional but for an introductory issue they were ﬁne. The brief introduction of Albert Speer was probably what intrigued me the most, and I hope I ﬁnd out more about how he betrayed Hitler. I have my guesses (I’m betting he fed information to The Allies) but will happily wait to ﬁnd out.
I’m a fan of alternate history stories in the vein of Manifest Destiny, and this deﬁnitely matches up with that series. I’m interested to see where the story goes and would recommend it if you are a fan of the same genre. I look forward to reading the next issue and ﬁnding out where Hitler has gone, what Taylor and Walsh will do to ﬁnd him, and what Speer actually did in his betrayal of Hitler. 4/5
Created by: Hayley Nitz and Eli Nitz
Written by: Jai Nitz
Penciler: Jethro Morales (Green Hornet)
Colorist: Marie Enger (Pistolwhip)
Letterer: Chris Crank (Toshiro)
Cover artist: Greg Smallwood (Moon Knight)