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‘Beowulf:’ Advance Trade Paperback Review

I’m not a scholar of old English poetry by any means, but what I’ve read I’ve loved. I love how the words make you feel breathless. They elevate the events of the story to the point of being mythic. The Worm Ouroboros was one of the most unique reading experiences I’ve ever had. Heroes with the stature of mountains surmounting practically impossible tasks; they are almost god-like. This graphic novel adaptation of Beowulf from writer Santiago García creates an equally breathless feeling within me, and that’s in a large part thanks to the lush artwork of David Rubín.

I’ve become a fan of Rubín’s work thanks to the comic book series, Ether. In the midst of high fantasy, he finds the humanity within his characters. So, I pounced at the opportunity to review this new vision of Beowulf which – from what I can tell – stalled out for a good decade before Rubín committed and brought it back to life. And what a perfect fit.

García’s eloquence in this storytelling medium, the rhythm and flow he creates in the narrative, gives Rubín the perfect playground to create a visceral tapestry of violence. The first moment we have with Grendel, the beast, is shocking in its animalistic sexuality. It’s immediately a nightmare of primal id. Each chapter – three in all – details a different monster and Beowulf’s struggle against these increasingly greater foes, while he himself seems to be running from the monster contained within and a past truth that will haunt him until the end.

García cuts to the chase of what thematically lies within the story, and he nails it with emotional clarity. If you’ve never read the story of Beowulf or if you are an avid fan, this adaptation has everything to offer, and you have nothing to lose in reading it.

Creative Team: Santiago García (writer), David Rubín (artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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