Review: ‘Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood’ #2

Killshaxblood2

As the new story arc continues, Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood #2 delivers on its potential and crafts an incredibly thrilling supernatural adventure. If you haven’t read an issue, this is the perfect time to catch up on the “Kill Shakespeare” series. You will definitely become a fan of the comic after reading this little number.

WRITTEN BY: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
ART BY: Andy Belanger
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: March 27, 2013

A new threat is rising from the border as Titus is gathering an army. Though this is peacetime, Titus isn’t afraid to strike and start a war. With the rebellion over, Juliet Capulet has taken a much-needed break and lives a humble life with Hamlet by her side. As danger approaches, Juliet is called upon to raise her sword once again for battle. But can she trust her ex-lover, Romeo, as they travel to the mysterious Prospero’s Island. Deep in the island’s caves, something evil lurks and hungers for blood.

Writers Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have cleverly found a way to create a new universe and breathe life into Shakespeare’s literary characters. Pay close attention to the way McCreery and Del Col have depicted Juliet and Miranda. Both female characters are fighters and they are the ones slaying the monsters on the island. The men, Othello and Hamlet, are the damsels-in-distress who need someone to rescue them. This role reversal is an interesting play on gender and tradition.

I particularly liked what McCreery and Del Col have done with Prospero’s Island, which leans towards the supernatural, not magic. Lurking in the shadows, werewolves jump across to rip out men’s arms. Prospero’s Island is very much alive, talking inside Hamlet’s mind. Hamlet’s nose starts to bleed after the island’s voice tries to break his spirit. As Hamlet hallucinates, the island is doing everything it can to drive him insane.

Artist Andy Belanger captures the insanity of Prospero’s Island, which is angry and haunted at the same time. As Othello and Hamlet are losing their minds, notice what’s going on in the background. The trees have faces on them, as if they are screaming in pain. When Juliet and Miranda find themselves lost in the monster-infested woods, the entire forest is laughing at them.

Belanger’s illustrations stand out when Romeo sinks into madness. In a splash page, Romeo looks everywhere for the missing Juliet. Romeo sees copies of himself wandering around in a full circle. With a sword in hand, Romeo aims the tip across at another clone. It almost looks like Romeo is pointing the sword at his own eye.

A great read from start to finish, “Kill Shakespeare: Tide of Blood” #2 plays around with the roles and personalities of Shakespeare’s gallery of heroes and villains. With easy-to-swallow dialogue, you don’t need cheat notes to understand Shakespeare’s prose.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis