NOW READ THIS! :: Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower

August 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm By:

I know, I know– there are just not enough hours in the day.  I know, I know, it is difficult to stay on budget with so many quality comic products released each and every week.  I know, I know… you have a stack of comics next to your bed/favorite chair/comfy couch that is this high and growing… the last thing you need is for some wise guy like myself insisting you add another book to the pile.

But then again…. with regular monthly titles and series relaunches and Annuals and dozens of archival reprints, it is easy for a fan to close ranks and retreat to his or her comfort zone and never branch out.
This is the first of a series of columns recommending a book of high quality that deserves your time and effort. I will keep it brief–all I ask is that the next time you are in the store, you take a moment and glance at the book in question.  Read a few pagesI triple dog dare ya.

So…Remember back in English class in high school when we bought the Cliff’s Notes™ for the classic poems of Homer and Virgil?  Fortunately, we all survived the experience but now let’s jump ahead a decade or two–we see popcorn movies like Troy and Clash of the Titans and think– hey, these stories are still pretty great.
Arguably, the story of the Trojan War is the epic saga from which most (if not all) heroic fiction has sprung. These tales are still exciting and in many ways they are timeless.  But I’ll be danged (danged to heck!) if I am going to sit down and try to read The Iliad or The Odyssey or The Aeneid or any of the other Greco-Roman Canon.  Darn it, I’ve got TiVo and Netflix queues to maintain.
Well, you don’t need to wade through those heavy classic tomes  because the incredibly talented writer/artist Eric Shanower is spending the next twenty years of his life putting the entire epic into comics form; and the results are magnificent.
Along with fabulous comic storytelling, you get to know Agamemnon (what a jerk!) , Paris (what a bigger jerk), Odysseus (the man who desperately needed a GPS ), Clytemnestra, Kassandra and all the the handy-dandy Oracles who are there to recap and foretell what is in store for our tragic bunch (very much like Waylon Jennings’ role on Dukes of Hazzard).  Last but not least, you get the first woman to ever top the Maximus Hot 100–Helen of Troy!
Seriously, though,  Age of Bronze is a must read.  Next time you are in Heroes, pick up the first trade paperback– A Thousand Ships and just let the gorgeous pages draw you in. It is exciting, well plotted and a joy to read.  I devoured 28 issues over the course of a weekend.  Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.  Now, I wish I had read the originals closer in H.S.
I am confident that once you try Age of Bronze you will love the series too.  Please give it a look.  There is no caveat emptor here, I promise!  For Mature Readers!

Filed Under: DISCUSS, Now Read This!, Reviews

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