Age of Bronze, Volume 3: Betrayal, Part One
Graphic used to mean a novel of Lady Chatterley’s ilk, but now it means what geriatric me calls a comic. Age of Bronze, however is not the jolly ‘Beano’ comic; this book, written and illustrated by Eric Shanower, tells the first part of the story of the Trojan War, and it does so very well. At the front of the book are detailed maps, a plan of Troy, a translation from Sophocles about Philoctetes, and an excellent summary of the story. At the back of the book are a glossary of names, a genealogical chart and bibliography. You don’t find those in a comic.
As for the story, told over 143 pages in clear, black-and-white pictures with speech bubbles, it looks dramatic and moves with rapid pace, allowing the reader to meet the protagonists in their worlds, then pulling together all the threads of the stories so that we can understand who become involved in the war and why.
My problem with stories told in pictures is that the pictures of the people are never as I imagine them to be in my head. I prefer plain words, but children and teenagers don’t. This book should be in every school library, given to young male readers and used as an introduction to the Trojan War for anyone who thinks visually and enjoys manga and illustrated books.