http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Prideofbaghdad_1184.jpg

->''"Freedom can't be given, Zill. Only earned."''

Based on the true story of four lions who escaped the Baghdad zoo during the American bombing of 2003, ''PrideOfBaghdad'' is a BeastFable about the horrors of war, and the nature of freedom and captivity. Written by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Niko Henrichon, it is a seriously massive TearJerker. You have been warned.

The allegory is fairly open; it insinuates the collapse of Iraqi culture after being "freed" from Hussein's Baath Party. It also encompasses war is bad and war destroys more than just the enemy side. It deliberates on the nature of freedom and, to a certain extent, the responsibility of mankind to the innocents caught in the crossfire. Have we mentioned that you ''will'' cry?
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!!This series provides examples of:

* AmplifiedAnimalAptitude: Both played straight in the BeastFable sense and averted with the story's heartbreaking appeal: watching the animals utterly fail to comprehend human machinations.
** Completely and utterly averted by Saddam Husein's horses, who don't speak and spend the whole time they're in the book running away from the lions. Justified by the fact that most horses are dumb as dirt (deliberately so due to selective breeding, as more intelligent beasts of burden like donkeys are notoriously stubborn) and spend nearly all their lives between two emotions: blind obedience and mindless terror.
* BearsAreBadNews.
* ChildSoldier: What the monkeys try to turn Ali into.
* CoolOldLady: Safa.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:[[AvertedTrope Taken out to the woods, shot and left for dead]].]]
* EyeScream: [[spoiler: Safa. [=TWICE=].]]
* [[strike: Five]] [[FiveManBand Four Man Band]]: While they're short by one, they compare better to a FiveManBand than to a FourTemperamentEnsemble.
** Zill: TheHero / GentleGiant
** Noor: TheSmartGuy / TheChick
** Safa: TheBigGuy / TheLancer
** Ali: TeamPet / TagalongKid
* ForegoneConclusion: It just kind of is. Especially if you read the article the story was based on.
* GentleGiant: Zill, the male of the pride.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Or maybe it should be good lions have good ... well, anyway, Zill and Noor.
* HumansAreBastards: Particularly invoked in the scene with the sea turtle.
* HumansAreCthulhu: Oh, man ... the poor giraffe in the opening scene.
* [[spoiler: InfantImmortality: Averted. Ali gets shot at the end along with the other lions.]]
* IUhYouToo: "I hate you old woman."
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Safa the lioness.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: If you know the story is based on a real life newspaper article, then you most likely know how it ends.
* MetaGuy: Arguably, the Turtle.
* PetTheDog: Safa is nice to Ali, the lion cub. [[spoiler:She also rescues him from the monkeys.]]
* RapeAsDrama: In Safa's past.
* SceneryPorn: Niko Henrichon can ''draw.''
* ShrugOfGod: Brian K. Vaughn has said that the story is meant to be taken as the reader takes it, not that he was trying to propagate a particular opinion.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Played with, especially since the story makes use of clashing ideals among the lions.
* [[spoiler:ShootTheShaggyDog: All of the main cast are shot and killed by U.S Soldiers.]]
* TalkingAnimal: Well, yeah,
* TimeAbyss: The sea turtle, being old enough to remember the first UsefulNotes/GulfWar, is this to the lions due to their shorter lifespans.
* TookALevelInBadass: Zill.
* {{The Unseen}}: Humans rarely appear in the story, and when they do, their faces are never shown. The ''effects'' of their actions, however, are everywhere.
** Driven home when [[spoiler: the pride is shot to death at the end. The humans who kill them are completely unseen by the reader until after the pride is dead.]]
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The artists took ArtisticLicense to make a backstory for the lions in the newspaper article.
* TheWarOnTerror: Used as a backdrop to the story and a big provider of dramatic irony. Not to mention that the story itself is a commentary on it.
* WideEyedIdealist: Noor the lioness.
* YourHeadASplode: [[spoiler: The Giraffe. In one of the most defining MoodWhiplash moments in the graphic novel.]]

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