If you are looking for a fun literature inspired graphic novel/ comic, then look no further than Kill Shakespeare: A Sea of Troubles. I heard about this from Isabella at Magnificent Octopus and then forgot all about it until the other day when she posted about the second book in the series.

Imagine a world where Shakespeare’s characters are real people and the Bard himself is thought of as God. There is a prophecy about Hamlet and depending on whose side you are on he is going to either kill Shakespeare and obtain the magic quill, the source of Shakespeare’s power, or, he will overthrow the oppressive reign of Richard III and bring the power and glory of Shakespeare to the world.

This is a world in which Lady Macbeth is a powerful witch and in cahoots with Richard and Juliet is leader of the rebellion with her trusty companions Falstaff and Othello. Iago of course plays both sides. Hamlet arrives in Britain from Denmark after inadvertently killing Polonius. He travels by ship with his faithful friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who die when the ship is attacked by pirates. Hamlet survives because he falls overboard.

When Hamlet washes ashore he is picked up by Richard who twists things around and makes him believe that in helping Richard kill Shakespeare, Hamlet will be doing a great thing and as a reward, Richard will raise Hamlet’s father from the dead. Hamlet, wishy-washy as ever, sort of agrees, obviously having no worries about a zombie father.

So off they go to find Shakespeare. But Hamlet manages to get himself separated from Richard’s men and is “captured” by Falstaff. When Hamlet meets the hottie Joan-of-Arc-like Juliet, sparks fly. Of course he has to decide whose side he is going to be on. And of course, he can’t decide until the end.

It was a fun romp with several minor Shakespeare characters appearing, a brothel called “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and an inn called “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and an occasional Shakespeare quote or paraphrase. I enjoyed it enough to request the next volume from the library. I should have it in time for the weekend.

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