Was World War I The Result Of Science Gone Wrong?

Illustration for article titled Was World War I The Result Of Science Gone Wrong?

A few days ago, we asked what would've happened if we had had advanced technology during the Second World War, but a new graphic novel from San Francisco publisher AiT/PlanetLar is going one step further and asking, what if advanced technology was accidentally responsible for World War I happening in the first place?

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The graphic novel, Aces: Curse Of The Red Baron, doesn't linger on the theoretical, however; it's much more of an Indiana Jones-style romp through real life historical figures and events. Two pilots - one British, one American - are both convinced that they're responsible for shooting down the fabled Red Baron, and both have one half of a map to some kind of treasure to prove it. The problem comes when they follow the map, and find that it doesn't lead to treasure, but to The Black Hand, the organization responsible for the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. And when it's explained that Ferdinand was killed because of a displaced time machine that showed what the world would be like had he lived, then the science fiction is most definitely on.

Without spoiling the ending of the book - No, really, there's more to the time travel reveal than that - there are some smart examples of uses of future tech throughout the book, and it's a fun look at why it's possible that we've always had advanced technology all along, and simply never been aware of it...

Aces: Curse Of The Red Baron [AiT/PlanetLar]

DISCUSSION

DavidLomax
DavidLomax

@aixelsyd: You're right, of course. It's fiction. However, it's passing itself off as alternate history, and I, for one, have more respect for that sort of fiction if it's at least grounded in some decent research. I'm not saying that this isn't, but it's certainly a bad sign if they don't seem to know some of the basic facts.

It's also interesting to me that they have a Brit and a Yank as the protagonists arguing over who shot von Richthoven. It displays a kind of cultural bias to which Braak alluded in his cleverly irony-laden comment (which he ought now to be expected to assure me had no irony in it whatsoever). The authors may actually have legitimately expected that an American audience might have been less interested in it if the heroes were an Aussie and a Canuck. Just sayin'.