Saturday, February 19, 2011

Comic Book Review: Kill Shakespeare #9

Written By: Conner McCreery & Anthony Del Col
Artist: Andy Belanger
Colorist: Ian Herring
Cover Artist: Kagan McLeod
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Tom Waltz

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
After two months of waiting, issue #9 of Kill Shakespeare finally graced my e-mail inbox with its presence.  The first paragraph of the e-mail states that William Shakespeare returns from the grave!

Wait…WHAT?!?!  They just gave away the ending!!!!

After shaking off the anger I had for Del Col and McCreery in giving away the surprise, I told myself that there’s got to be more to this issue than simply bringing Shakespeare into the story.  Even with the foreknowledge of Shakespeare’s appearance, I still found myself shocked at what transpired.

I opened up the issue to find another dilemma had occurred; this time between Hamlet and Romeo.  As we learned last issue, Romeo is actually alive and Hamlet has fallen for Juliet.  So who’s gonna get the girl?  Of course the Juliet of Del Col’s imagination is much stronger than one would expect, and I suspect she’s going to break up any man-fight that occurs.

But this is only a side plot to help build on the already existing tension of Hamlet and his unwanted “chosen one” status.  Hamlet’s trip through the Globe is tense enough what with the evil-looking sprites and massive wads of paper with scribbling on them grabbing at his leg as he waddled through the swamp water.  Ian Herring’s ability to create a tense situation with his mastery over one shade of color is one of the best in the business.  I love how well he applies shading to the most intense scenes, verging on overkill…but not quite.  (I like his style!)
Ian Herring is an amazing Penciller, don’t doubt that for a second.  However, I do find trying to figure out who’s who can be a little jolting at times.  Iago and Hamlet look so much alike, I thought Falstaff was holding a knife to Hamlet’s neck instead of Iago.  That was the moment where, for only a second, I thought that Del Col and McCreery wrote in the most abrupt plot twist in the history of comics!  But this minor setback in the artistic side of things shouldn’t detract anyone from enjoying the incredibly expressive and unique art provided by Mr. Herring.

Now, let’s focus in on the most interesting part of issue #9, the meeting between Hamlet and Shakespeare…or the one we THINK to be Shakespeare.  I’m not completely convinced that this drunkard with a death wish is in fact the infamous writer; he seems to be a little too seedy to be the one everyone in this Shakespearean world worships and follows; he never actually reveals his identity verbally now does he?

Whether this man is or isn’t Shakespeare, however, doesn’t mean the entire interaction isn’t interesting and thought provoking.  And the magical dagger scrapping across the floor, and flying idly in the air, thrusting towards the two men left me in such a state of awe that I…well…had to reread the entire issue right away in hopes that it would end differently.  No such luck.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
Issues 1 through 9 have been solid all the way through, being almost perfect.  I can only assume that there are only three more issues remaining for this particular arc.  How in the world this is going to wrap up in three more issues I have no idea.  But I’m excited to see what happens!

9 out of 10 stars

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