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Comic Review: Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 2: The Blast Of War
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Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 2: The Blast Of WarKill Shakespeare, Vol. 2: The Blast Of War
Created and Written by Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col
Art by Andy Belanger
Colors by Ian Herring
Lettering by Chris Mowry, Neil Uyetake, and Shawn Lee
Collection Cover by Kagan McLeod
Collection Design by Chris Mowry
IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 9, 2011
Cover Price: $19.99

Imagine if you will, all of Shakespeare’s creations brought to life and populating one world, interacting with one another and thinking of him as their (rightfully so) creator. That’s exactly what Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col did in their graphic novel Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 2: The Blast Of War. It had been quite some time since I read the first volume, but I caught back up pretty quickly.

This particular volume revolves around a war between characters and their armies. Juliet (yes, that Juliet) heads one of these groups and his joined by none other than Hamlet, thought to be The Shadow King. Othello heads their army and they have amassed a dedicated group to fight against the evil Richard who seeks to invade and conquer their lands. A man thought long dead makes an appearance that creates some tension within the ranks but I cannot tell you who, no spoilers here. This volume also gives us a glimpse of William Shakespeare himself. Not what you might expect from the creator of such a rich and varied world, he has become quite the recluse. And it takes much to find him…but again, no spoilers here.

As with all of the works attributed to Shakespeare, this tale is rich in intrigue, betrayal, love, and anger. The story is grand and seems to grow grander still. The artist, Andy Belanger, has also captured the ambiance of this world which only adds to the overall feel of the book. I rank this in my top twenty non-superhero comics because of everything I’ve said and more. I hope to see more of this in the future, as it is superbly done. I’m a bit of a book snob and finding graphic novels that are this well written is hard to do. You will find yourself drawn in and impatient throughout the reading of this one, make no mistake…but it is worth savoring every word. The writers really shine here.

Pick this up along with its predecessor if you want an excellent read with lots of twists. If you haven’t read the first one, I would recommend it. But truthfully, you can jump right in and catch up pretty well. I don’t often jump at dropping twenty bucks on a graphic novel but as I said before, this one rocks. Two thumbs up and all that. Ask for it at your local comic shop or bookstore (if you are lucky enough to have one of those).

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