Once Upon A Bookshelf

A Reader's Blog

Kill Shakespeare Volume 2: The Blast of War

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:10 am December 21, 2012.
Category: Fantasy
Book Author(s): ,
Publisher(s):
Created and Written By: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Art By: Andy Belanger
Colours By: Ian Herring
Lettering By: Chris Mowry, Neil Uyetake, Shawn Lee
Collection Edits By: Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon
Originally Published: 2011
Collects Comics 7-12
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: Purchased

The Story

From the back of the book:

The first arc of the critically acclaimed mash-up of Shakespeare’s greatest heroes and villains comes to its bloody conclusion as Hamlet must make his choice to either kill – or save – the wizard/God Shakespeare.

Hamlet has decided to join Juliet, Othello, Iago, and Falstaff in their rebellion against the powerful forces of Richard III and Lady Macbeth. But the path to their “saviour” Shakespeare is long and dangerous, and not all are whom they appear to be, least of all the Bard himself. As he rosses the threshold into the Globe Woods Hamlet will find out what nightmares may come when one meets their maker.

The Response

I purchased the first volume at FanExpo in 2011, and had every intention of picking this second one up this year… alas, my “never buy anything on the first day of FanExpo” thing failed me greatly when I had to miss the last two days due to catching con-flu earlier than normal. Boo, hiss! Thankfully, that didn’t stop me completely from getting this collection, just merely postponed it slightly.

Oh, fanfic in the form of published comics! I do love thee! Oh, crossovers where other random characters hook up, you are so much fun! Romance between Juliet and Hamlet? So much more enjoyable than “romance” between Romeo and Juliet. (Urgh, ick, stupid! Suicide is NOT romantic. Dear people who every once in a while try to tell me a romantic story: it’s NOT. It’s a TRAGEDY. Rant rant rant!)

Reading this was actually rather therapeutic in a way, because of how much I loathe Othello… it was good to actually SEE justice come to Iago, stupid little man that he is. Rant rant rant.

Anyway!

This is definitely an enjoyable take on Shakespearian characters. The authors have taken a bit of artistic freedom with the characters (like, how some of them aren’t actually dead when they had died in their plays), but for the most part they all seem to be fairly true to who Shakespeare had written them to be.

The inclusion of Shakespeare himself was… surprising. I hadn’t actually expected him to be in the comics, or for him to be the way he turned out to be. Rather a pathetic creature when we first meet him, actually…. but he did turn out to be pretty cool by the end of the story.

I would recommend reading one volume right after the other. I had a bit of trouble remembering what was going on, especially seeing as volume 2 didn’t have the “previously in this series” intro that I normally expect to see when reading collections of comics. (Is that a normal thing in all collections? Or just common in the ones that I’ve read?)

The Bottom Line

Recommended to fans of Shakespeare who aren’t going to get angry if the characters aren’t portrayed in the exact same way that Shakespeare wrote them. Loved it!