Graphic Novel
April 2019


Germ Warfare

A Very Graphic History

Max Brooks

Max Brooks has partnered with the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense to produce GERM WARFARE: A Very Graphic History, a highly stylized and engaging graphic novel depicting previous biological warfare events, the possibilities for the future, and the continued need for public health security.

This Graphic Novel is available for download at no cost for your private, personal, and non-commercial use and enjoyment. Any copying, modifying, distributing, displaying, or performing the Graphic Novel for a commercial purpose requires express written permission from the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. To inquire about obtaining permission for any of these uses, please contact us at


Germs. They are too small to see with the naked eye, but they have killed more human beings than all the wars in history.

Before humans even knew that germs caused disease, they knew disease could be a weapon of war.

“Germ Warfare” traces the long, brutal story of those microscopic weapons. From the infected arrows of Bronze Age archers, to the plague factories of World War 2, up through the biological arms race of the Cold War into our modern age of genetically manipulated terrorism.

This graphic history is both a lesson from the past and a warning for the future. It reminds us never to take public health for granted, because we never know when, or how, the next pandemic will rise.



Max Brooks is the author of the novels ‘World War Z,” “Minecraft: The Island” and the graphic novel “The Harlem Hellfighters.” He is a non resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point and the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.


The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense is a privately funded entity established in 2014 to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the state of U.S. biodefense efforts, and to issue recommendations that will foster change. Former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Governor Tom Ridge co-chair the Commission. Former Secretary of Health and Human Services and Representative Dr. Donna Shalala, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former Representative Jim Greenwood, and former Homeland Security Advisor Kenneth Wainstein serve as members.