Monday, August 17, 2009

Age of Bronze: Betrayal, Part One

I picked up the hardcover of this Eric Shanower comic at the library a few days ago because I wanted to finally give Age of Broze a read. I had picked it up a few times and was scared off by how dense it seemed, and the historical aspect of it, even though I am a big fan of mythology(Greek and otherwise) and generally like things about ancient civilizations and the warfare of those times.

I was at the library and resolved to give some things a chance that I had avoided in the past for whatever reason. I am sort of running out of things I haven't read from the comics collection at my local branch and figure that I should broaden my scope even more than I already have. I borrowed this book, as well as a Star Wars graphic novel, Ranma 1/2 , 2 Justice League themed audio books on CD, and a Cartoon History of the Universe.

What I didn't realize at the time is that I sort of had the wrong book in my hands, and had picked up not Age of Bronze #1, but Age of Bronze Betrayal #1. I still want to pick up the initial stories, but my lack of background on this was no barrier to enjoying it.

Age of Bronze Betrayal starts with the Trojans and the Achaeans on more than just the Brink of war. All the gears are in motion, and preparations on both sides are in full force. We get a very good 'story so far' recap and detailed maps to help make sense of everything that's happening. It helps a lot, especially since I haven't read the previous installments. This is apparently part 3 of 7, but again, It is a great read on it's own. It reads like a history, but it is shown in a way that keeps the humor and drama and intrigue at the forefront. There are a TON of heavy hitter type characters, and all are dealt with as individuals. I think this might be the best format for this sort of story.

The art is clean and beautiful, and even though the story contains at least a hundred dark haired guys with beards, all of the characters become easily identifiable as you get farther into the book. It was engrossing and compelling and made me keep my eyes on it until I had finished reading it. It's an excellenty done historical fiction account of the Trojan War. I recommend it if you like any of the sort of elements that it is composed of.

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