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Kill Shakespeare (Vol. 1) – by Conor McCreery, Andy Belanger, and Anthony Del Col

February 20, 2012

Kill ShakespeareI wasn’t expecting much from this graphic novel – I picked it up on a whim – but I found it very entertaining. The illustrations are engaging and the plot is fast-moving. The book starts with the story of Hamlet proceeding normally, until he is sent to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and the ship is attacked by pirates. Hamlet soon finds himself the guest of Richard III who, along with Lady Macbeth and Iago, wants Hamlet to help him find and destroy the evil wizard, William Shakespeare. However, after he meets a group of rebels, led by Juliet and Othello, who believe Shakespeare to be their creator, Hamlet isn’t sure who he should trust.

I love the concept of all of Shakespeare’s characters inhabiting the same universe and interacting with each other. Many of them didn’t seem to act the way they would have in their respective plays, but I think much of that could be explained by the fact that their stories obviously haven’t played out exactly as expected. Somewhere along the way, something must have changed, as Hamlet’s story did, otherwise many of them would have died. How, for example, did Juliet become the tough warrior leader of a rebellion?  And at what point during Othello or Macbeth did events veer off course? I hope that these questions will be delved into further in future volumes. I look forward to reading more!

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