A Rose by Any Other Name

When most of us think of Shakespeare, we have flashbacks of a man in a beard that confused us all throughout high school. With a “thy” here and a “thou” there, we were quick to sink into our chairs when a teacher looked at us for an explanation. But what if someone took all of these stories, put them in a blender and hit frappe? Just that was done, making 400-year-old stories into one epic adventure: “Kill Shakespeare.”

In the making since 2005, writers Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery cooked a story that can be loved by those unfamiliar to Shakespeare and appreciated by those who can quote him. Eleven issues in with a twelfth due out this week, “Kill Shakespeare” is the adventure of Shakespeare’s most famous characters living in the same world. Hamlet, mourning the loss of his father, is informed by Richard III that with the use Shakespeare’s enchanted quill his fallen kin can be resurrected. However, Hamlet soon learns that Richard’s kind-hearted intentions are not what they seem. It is a classic battle of good versus evil, pitting Hamlet, Juliet, Othello and other heroes against foes Iago, Lady Macbeth and Richard III.

The great thing about Kill Shakespeare is the homage that is paid throughout the issues. The characters are not poorly glued together in a storybook fashion, but all follow their own individual beginnings and fit like puzzle pieces into this new world that has been created. The use of old English is still in place, giving the work more credibility, thus making “Kill Shakespeare” more than just another graphic novel. There is an unlimited flow of action, drama and violence, this graphic novel does not disappoint.

Originally set up for limited release, Kill Shakespeare Vol. 1 Sea of Trouble (issues 1-6) is currently available, with volume two due to release in October.

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