As each installment gets better and better, Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood #3 delivers an incredibly spell-binding adventure. The best part, you don’t have to be fully versed in Shakespeare to understand what’s going on. As each page is wonderfully realized in words and art, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up the “Kill Shakespeare” series.
WRITTEN BY: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
ART BY: Andy Belanger
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASE: April 24, 2013
As Titus is gathering an army, Juliet is called upon to raise her sword once more for battle. Though Juliet cannot trust her ex-lover, Romeo, she needs his help as they travel far to the mysterious Prospero’s Island. Deep in the island’s caves, something evil lurks in the shadows. The island is alive and wants torture the visitors until they bleed. Hamlet and Othello find themselves trapped inside a torture chamber, while Juliet is nowhere to be seen. Will the god-like wizard Shakespeare risk getting involved and save them?
Writers Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have done something different and fresh to the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. In this interpretation, Romeo wants a second chance to get back together with Juliet. Because of Romeo’s heavy drinking and previous one-night stands, Juliet knows they are not destined to be together. Romeo is struggling with sobriety and he is trying to replace his alcoholism with unrequited love. This isn’t about these two characters getting back together; it’s about a break-up. Pay close attention to Romeo’s facial expressions as his jealously towards Hamlet heightens as Juliet breaks his heart.
I like the direction that McCreery and Del Col are taking the series, especially with the return of Shakespeare. In “Volume 2: The Blast Of War,” Shakespeare served as a metaphor for God. What would you say if you met God? After everything God has done to you, would you thank him or curse him out? Representing human nature, Hamlet lets it all out during his first confrontation with Shakespeare. So what will Shakespeare do now that he knows his children are in trouble?
Artist Andy Belanger captures the violent and dark nature of Prospero’s Island. In the opening pages, Hamlet is being tortured as his head is dunked many times into a bucket. When Hamlet gasps for air, he is surrounded by bloodthirsty werewolves. In the woods, the trees have screaming faces on them. In a small but important detail, the mountain range is also in the shape of a skull.
One of Belanger’s most impressive illustration yet is when Miranda walks down a staircase made of books. In a splash page, Belanger captures a surreal and child-like dream where the walls, stairs, and background are made of giant books. The reader’s eyes will follow Miranda as she walks from top to bottom in one shot. At first, Miranda is drawn in a wide shot and in the end, she is illustrated in a close-up.
“Kill Shakespeare: Tide of Blood” #3 is a clever and fresh take on Shakespeare’s mythology. I’m so glad I don’t need Spark Notes to understand what these character are talking about.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis