Beowulf, by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin

Beowulf by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin came out on my birthday last year and is an exciting new exploration into one of the oldest recorded tales in Europe. Beowulf has enjoyed multiple artistic, literary, and movie interpretations. This new version is a more creative and artistically loose. They let their imaginations expand the horror as well as the triumphs of the great Viking Beowulf.

Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Image Comics
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

If you are somehow not familiar with this classic myth, it revolves around the Nordic hero Beowulf. The king of the Danes is under an assault from the horrid monster Grendel. No blades can pierce this beast, and nothing can stop it. It can kill a dozen men a night and race away with anything it chooses.

Beowulf and his spear men arrive to slay the beast. Weapons do little to stop him, so Beowulf tears off the unholy thing’s arm. It flees back to his mother who is an even more powerful creature. Beowulf then enters her domain and fight a larger creature on its own tuff. Beowulf later insures his entrance to Valhalla by purging the world of a fearsome dragon.

This graphic novel takes you through these battles in an epic manner. Often small imaging within large boxes paint the tale on multiple levels simultaneously. The monsters are intense and fantastic. The action is fierce. Perhaps best of all, it follows the myth well and the authors do not feel the need to try to ‘improve’ a story that has survived many millennia.

This is an impressive work and if you enjoy graphic novels, I do not think this would let you down. In parts the action is a bit muddled. Beowulf is also a bit nasty looking and appears more ruffian than hero. Maybe I just always expect to see Vikings with beards.

If fantasy action and graphic novels are things you enjoy, you should give this a chance.

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