Issue by Issue – Beowulf #1

Writer – Michael Uslan
Artist – Ricardo Villamonte

Michael Uslan and Ricardo Villamonte open the first issue of Beowulf with the awakening of Grendel, servant of Satan, as it heads towards Castle Hrothgar to put an end to all of those that reside there. While that is taking place, Beowulf finds himself in pitched battle and once it is won, is convinced to set sail to that very castle to which Grendel is travelling. There is no doubt that the two will clash, but as it is, Grendel arrives first and decimates the forces found within before retreating until his next attack. Along the way, Beowulf encounters a beautiful woman named Nan-Zee who is a warrior herself and after a little tussle between the two, she joins the prince on his journey. Before Beowulf can reach Castle Hrothgar though, he must defeat those that stand in his way, if he can. Packed with all kinds of action, villains and monsters, Uslan creates a fun tale that is similar to other books of its ilk like Conan, Claw the Unconquered and such, yet different to them as well with an identity all its own. One has to wonder just how many obstacles Beowulf will have to overcome before reaching his destination, but as he is the hero of the book and a mighty warrior indeed, it should not be how long it takes that one thinks of, but what he will do to those in his way. Villamonte’s pencils are superb, the book looking fantastic in every way. Beowulf is presented as the muscular barbarian type, but unique due to his hair colour and his choice of dress which includes his great horned helmet and the weapon he carries – a spiked mace which is sure to cause no small amount of damage. Grendel is a fearsome beast and looks to be wholly unstoppable and Villamonte instills enough into his pages that the fear the people feel before the monster is present and real. With equal parts drama and action and interesting characters to boot, Beowulf is off to a great start and delivers what all first issues should.

4 out of 5

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