Saturday, December 18, 2010

Comic Book Review: Kill Shakespeare #8

Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Conor McCreary & Anthony Del Col
Penciller:  Andy Belanger
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Cover Art: Kagan McLeod
Editor: Tom Waltz

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Reading Shakespeare was never something I fancied back in high school; I’m sure my peers shared this sentiment.  There’s all these “big” words, connected with more “big” words, that form “big” sentences which are too “big” for my puny mind to comprehend right?  I always had difficulty in school understanding what was being said – I wasn’t alone in this either. But for me, the frustration with reading Shakespeare was not due to the level of difficulty found in the literature, but with the fact that there was no visual to go along with the reading.

Is Shakespeare’s material poetic, beautiful, moving, and well written?  Of course!  But they are plays, meant to be executed as a play for the eyes to behold.  Why make people read it when watching it serves the purpose Shakespeare always intended for his work?  Eight issues into this title and I’m still geeking out over how well a Shakespearean style story works within the comic book genre. 

Issue #8 brings us into the company of Hamlet, Juliet and company in a much more wholesome light.  No longer are they arguing amongst themselves.  They have found the good within each other that seems to be hidden under the shroud of their most inner moral conflicts.  Hamlet and Juliet have taken to each other quite nicely, finally admitting to what we all already knew.  Othello attempts to asses his own life choices and face his demons, while Falstaff continues to be the comic relief who serves as the peacemaker among friends.  While the team decides to split up in their search for Lord Shakespeare, Romeo, Othello and Iago all run into a very interesting road block…one which may put a damper on some RECENTLY revealed plot threads.

I must say, the mistrust that was flowing throughout this was beginning to become a little overbearing.  While there is a lighthearted undertone to this series, the force driving the whole story is the dark and menacing plot where everyone betrays everyone else, or nobody trusts those within their own band of adventurers.  It’s nice to see McCreery and Del Col bring trust and a sense of hope into the story’s main characters.  If only everyone COULD be trusted, then Iago could have actually been am amazing asset to the team.  But, having a spy for the bad guys really does help spice everything up.

There was a moment where I tipped my head in disappointment (only for a moment mind you) and wondered if having Juliet climb up the ladder to Hamlet above in the balcony was border lining on the corny side.  But, such is the life in the world of Shakespeare.  Corn and cheese..can’t have a Shakespearean tale without one.

And of course, the art by Mr. Andy Belanger is nothing short of excellent.  His work, and I do believe I’ve said this before, reminds me so much of Amanda Conner’s work in Power Girl; very cartoonish, but still very mature and artistic.  I was disappointed at how much of a decrease there was in actions sequences in comparison to last month’s issue, but it doesn't mean that I can’t enjoy scenes such as the one with Lady Macbeth in the graveyard.  (click to enlarge) There is that bewitching feeling that the colors seem to radiate behind the shadows and light from the lantern.  Ian Herring knows no bounds when it comes to bringing out the shine within each and every panel.

I have to be honest, I DID NOT see that ending coming!  I wont give it away as this issue hasn’t even been released to the comic book stores yet, (December 22nd, pick it up!!) but do not fret, it will blow you away!  Conor and Del Col did one hell of a job at giving importance to this character’s roll in the story, but was equally good at giving it a level of unimportance too, making me think it was merely a means to explain the protagonist’s point of view.  Next issue should be a doozy!

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
I can’t stress enough how bad of an idea it is NOT to read this series.  It’s enticing and exciting, shining better than any other series in the world of comics.  The only series I would say meets Kill Shakespeare’s level of quality, it would be the Secret Six,

Rating: 10 out of 10
Writing: 10
Art: 10
Themes: 10

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