It’s not often you find a comic series that’s going to stretch as long as the actual historical event. But Age of Bronze probably is going to take as long as its subject, the Trojan War. This gorgeous award-winning series is going to run to seven volumes, perhaps seventy-some comics, beginning from the Judgment of Paris to the sack of Troy.
Creator Eric Shanower is doing far more than just retell Homer’s Iliad, which has a much more compressed style. The first issue, viewable for free on Image Comics’ website, shows how much more originality Shanower is wedging into the old story. In addition to much extra plot and character development, he’s tying the story down to its historical era, in the Mycenaean age, with a quantity of research that is truly admirable. A tour through the comic’s website is endlessly entertaining if you are into this time period. I particularly admire Achilles, who has the famous boar’s tooth helmet that is a major archaeological treasure.
It’s lucky everybody knows how the war ended, because the issues come out only two or three times a year. A scant three volumes are out to date, so it’s going to be a long war, but oh! a lovely one. Be warned, it’s true to both the source material and history, packed with lusty shepherd lads, tunic-ripping dieties hot on fornication, starvation, human sacrifice, and gratuitous bloodshed with large bronze blades. Not suitable for children! Give the kiddies Shanower’s reworking of the Wizard of Oz instead.