by Chris Ryall
Cover Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Review by Charles Mohapel
Idea & Design Works Llc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781600101281
Date: 31 October 2007 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Based on Neil Gaiman's and Roger Avary's screenplay for the Paramount Pictures film starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Robin Wright Penn, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman, and Brendan Gleeson, IDW Publishing has issued the adaptation of Beowulf as both a 4-issue comic released each week in October and as a gorgeous graphic novel.
Deftly written by Chris Ryall, both the comic books and the graphic novel feature the exquisite art of Gabriel Rodriguez.
While the first two issues of the comic feature the movie poster and a portrait of Grendel as centerfolds respectively, all four issues carry the story of Beowulf as translated by Gummere, divided into four equal parts.
Although the graphic novel lacks Gummere's translation of "Beowulf", it more than makes up for it with a superb art gallery after the story.
First is a mirror image of a panel in Issue 3, beautifully drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez. The next two pages are the covers of Issues 1 and 2, beautifully drawn by Mark A. Nelson. Following this are the aforementioned portrait of Grendel by Gabriel Rodriguez and the cover of Issue 3 by Mark A. Nelson. Next is a striking head and shoulder shot of Grendel's mother, complete with her tail rising through the water behind her head. Facing it is the cover of Issue 4 by Mark A. Nelson. Following this is a powerful image of the dragon's head by Gabriel Rodriguez, as well as various ink illustrations and concept sketches of his in black and white. Next you see black and white versions of pages 26 and 27, again by Gabriel Rodriguez. The last page features the movie poster of Beowulf.
In my opinion, whether you choose to purchase Beowulf as a stylish 4-issue comic set or as the gorgeous graphic novel, you're taking home true collectibles. The only way to top either choice is to buy them both. Like the dragon in the story, I don't plan on parting with anything from this part of my own hoard.