HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Kill Shakespeare #2
writers: Conor McCreery and
Anthony Del Col
artist: Andy Belanger

Still mourning his father and angry at his usurping Uncle Claudius, Young Hamlet feels lost. Thankfully for his spirits, he has a boon companion to stand by his side as he ponders his next course of action. One thing remains certain to Hamlet: he must save his father's soul. And the good King Richard III has promised that he will help in that task.

The problem is, of course, that good King Richard III isn't actually good, but one of the worst best villains in all of Shakespeare's plays. And that boon companion? That would be Iago, likely fresh from having manipulated Othello the Moor into murdering his true love. Adding in the unseen Scottish King Macbeth, this terrible trio drives the hapless Hamlet forward to find a wizard, the source of all their sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.

That would be a wizard of words, and quite possibly even their creator. Somewhere in London he sits, scratching out lines with a magic quill. Who he really was, historians will argue for centuries. Only one thing is certain - Hamlet must Kill Shakespeare.

If you missed the first issue of this romp through the wilds of Shakespeare's 37 plays, you need to pick it up along with issue #2, out on Wednesday the 19th. Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have taken a concept that maybe shouldn't have worked, but absolutely does.

Why? Because they remember that the reason Shakespeare's plays have lasted is that the characters are absolutely great. Their motivations are nigh-operatic. And their struggles, even when psychological, still seem epic. Gee, you put it that way, they sound like superheroes.

Maybe that's trying too hard to draw you in, because McCreery and Del Col already do a great job, more than aided by the strong clean art of Andy Belanger. The artist has a field day creating a wide range of Shakespearean costuming and looks, with each character standing unique without looking ridiculous.

It's easy to see why someone might be fooled by Iago, and Belanger shows us a villain who is absolutely human in his evil. Richard III could be a king out of Disney, if not for that withered arm, which thanks to him being a drawing and not an actor, actually looks right. And oh, Hamlet, it's obvious you want to do the right thing, if only you could understand what that is.

If you're wondering how all these characters (and more) could cross over, I'll admit it's a bit of a stretch to create this Crisis on Infinite Old Globes. But the creative team doesn't so much violate Shakespeare's narratives as carefully walk in the cracks of them. Hamlet finds himself having this adventure between Acts 4 and 5 of his play, and really, what kind of good villain would Iago be if he hadn't found some way to 'scape the hangman's noose after Othello?

But that's just for the people already hooked on Shakespeare. In reality, Kill Shakespeare works as a straight up adventure story, full of action, intrigue, betrayal, and I've been promised, love. Also a whole lot of Jacobean gruesomeness, as Richard III may be only slightly more stable than the Joker. The language only occasionally dips into being a throwback to Elizabethan English, usually when quoting directly from one of the plays.

IDW has a hit on its hands, and be aware that the creative team did plan an extra month's hiatus between issues 2 and 3. It was a marketing strategy in case they needed to build word of mouth, to allow for readers to jump on board before the series got too far along. It's a sound strategy. Except that Kill Shakespeare is so fun, it's a shame that we have to wait an extra month before the next cast member appears.*

In the meantime, re-read the issues we have. Then rent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, to remind everyone that Shakespeare never has been quite what he seems.

*Hint: Shakespeare wrote a lot of sequels, as history provided them. But this guy was so popular he got his own spin-off, which most historians agree was funnier than Fish and Joanie Loves Chachi combined.

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites