William Shakespeare is the most well known playwright of the Western world. That seems reason enough to take his plays and characters and come up with some out there concepts. If a “Star Trek” themed “The Tempest” and making “Richard III” take place in Nazi Germany be great anything is possible. Turning the characters into pirates apparently doesn’t. That’s the case for “Kill Shakespeare #2: The Mask of Night” by Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col.
After surviving the destruction of Prospero’s island, Hamlet Juliet and Shakespeare are saved by the pirate Captain Cesario. Everything is not well when they are being chased by the most powerful ship in Titus’s armada, the Lavinia.
This comic is essentially a fan fiction project where you take every character that a writer came up with and put them together. There really is no reason for them all to be together except for “wouldn’t it be cool if…?”
The story itself is one of the most basic storylines you can find. Characters are on a ship after a huge tragedy and are being chased by bad guys. Actually, once you realize that this comic is based off of a board game you realize that this comic is there solely to sell said. It’s obvious this story was put together in five minutes.
The writers tried to stay true to the Shakespeare plays by having them speak in Shakespearian English. It falls flat when you realize that the reason Shakespeare is so quotable is because of how rich, witty and emotional his writing is. Here the characters lines are boring, generic and forgettable.
The art by Andy Belanger can be summed up as ugly. The characters all look horrendous and have these weird facial features that make them look non-human. The colors used are about as drab and lifeless as you can get. Looking at this comic for longer than two pages will ruin your appreciation for color.
“Kill Shakespeare #2: The Mask of Night” is an obvious cash grab for a board game with very little to offer. There story is weak, the characters are uninteresting, the attempted Shakespeare writing falls flat and the art is dull. This comic is a perfect example of doing something different with Shakespeare wrong.