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Review: ‘Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood’ #5

As each installment brought in tons of excitement, “Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood” #5 delivers an epic finale that has been promised since the beginning. This is The Island from “Lost” versus the classic Shakespearean characters. After reaching the last page, readers will be anxiously waiting for the next chapter in the “Kill Shakespeare” series.

Written By: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Art By: Andy Belanger
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99
Release: August 28, 2013

With his heart broken by Juliet and his mind filled with lies by the powerful wizard Prospero, Romeo has no choice but to murder Hamlet. As Hamlet and Othello are held prisoners by Prospero’s island, Juliet has to come to their recue. But, does she have what it takes to drive her sword into Romero’s chest? With the arrival of the god-like wizard Shakespeare on the island, has he fallen into a deadly trap set up by Prospero? Will Shakespeare be able to save his creations and defeat Prospero at the same time, without getting himself killed?

Writers Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col focus on the love triangle between Hamlet, Juliet, and Romeo. When these three protagonist are in a room together, all hell is about to break loose. Interestingly, McCreery and Del Col have developed Juliet into a fierce anti-heroine, who is desperately trying to keep her own needs alive. Though he hasn’t been in action, Hamlet certainly isn’t the fool because he senses something is amiss with Juliet. He knows she is holding something back from him. At a crossroads, Romeo is trying to save Juliet from the island, while attempting to destroy her relationship with Hamlet.

McCreery and Del Col jam-pack the last pages with lots of action, revelations, and a shocking conclusion. The writers are closing up all subplots, while leaving things open-ended for the next chapter. Though Othello didn’t have much to do in “Tide of Blood,” he mentions something fascinating near the conclusion that opens up new possibilities for the next chapter. I look forward to this new direction the “Kill Shakespeare” series is heading.

Artist Andy Belanger unlocks his imagination with the confrontation between Shakespeare and Prospero. Both protagonists can conjure magical and supernatural beings with the wave of their hands. To mess with Prospero’s mind, Shakespeare has him duel with a shapeless body of words. Notice how the bulk of words fly away as if they were birds. The seemingly-scattered page layouts serve as a creative metaphor for Prospero’s mental breakdown.

The self-destruction of the island represents the inevitable breakup between Hamlet and Juliet. As the caves collapse from within and boulders drop in numbers, Juliet carries the wounded and bleeding Hamlet, who doesn’t want her help. Belanger focuses on Hamlet’s facial expressions as he senses betrayal from the love of his life. In the backgrounds, Belanger captures the waves crashing on the rocks and steam rising through the rifts.

Highly recommended, “Kill Shakespeare: Tide of Blood” #5 is a fantastic conclusion that will leave readers wanting more. Romeo changed from a drunken slacker to a heart-broken womanizer while Juliet has transformed from princess to a warrior. It’s very hard to turn Shakespeare’s characters into rock stars but Del Col, McCreery, and Belanger make it look easy.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis



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