Age of Bronze: Eric Shanower

To finish, I once again recommend the Age of Bronze series to anyone who wants to get their teeth into (what will be) a full history of the Trojan War, complete with sub-plots, mythic histories and a foundation on solid historical and mythological research.  Surely there can’t be many graphic novels which come with a bibliography, but this is one.  I think Shanower was involved with Troy as a kind of historical adviser – his drawings certainly crop up among the extras on the DVD – and he definitely knows his stuff.  He tends to steer clear of the gods, who appear only in the characters’ stories or self-justifications, and that makes for a much richer and complex human story.  Every character gets their time in the sun here, and the various myths are carefully tied together.  Shanower’s preference seems to be for Achilles (maybe that’s why I like this series so much), and he is particularly thorough with Achilles’ story, even including the time on Skyros, which has always been a favourite art-historical theme of mine.  (It shows that the Ancient Greeks did have a sense of humour, that one of their greatest heroes should spend most of his adolescence pretending to be a girl under sufference.)  I should note that, although this is a comic, it’s not suitable for children.  Shanower is pretty frank about sexuality and he follows the myths into some areas that Hollywood would steer well clear of; but in treating the stories honestly, he creates a very engaging and rich tapestry – which I just hope he finishes…

Buy the first volume

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