Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Promethea book 1

(2001) Alan Moore/J. H. Williams III/Mick Gray, Titan Books, 11.99, trdpbk, 176pp, ISBN 1-84023-229-3


The two best writers in comics are, without a doubt, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.  Fact.  And, of Alan's most recent output (for America's Best Comics), the best is Promethea (with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen a close second).

Actually describing Promethea is a difficult task: she is a heroine (several actually), a goddess, and the personification of fiction/stories/the imagination. Student Sophie Bangs lives in an SF alternate world of 1999 and is fascinated by the recurrent myth of a warrior woman, Promethea. In tracking down those associated with various fictional incarnations of the woman, Sophie is drawn into the Immateria, realm of the imagination, and becomes the next Promethea. She has her origins somewhere in ancient Egypt, but is also eternal. Sophie's world includes New York's resident superheroes, The Five Swell Guys, and her best friend is Stacia (who is writing a thesis on Weeping Gorilla comics...).

This first volume collects together the first 6 issues of Promethea and is beautifully drawn by Williams and Gray (with some additional art by Charles Vess), rendering both a hyperactive NYC and a malleable Immateria dreamscape. Sophie/Promethea must navigate these overlapping realms, encountering her previous incarnations, their friends and enemies, and the demon hit-squads who have a contract to kill her.

Great stuff. Highly recommended.

Tony Chester

Reviews here of Promethea Book 2, Promethea Book 4 and Promethea Book 5.

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