Comics Reviews

Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur Packs in Plenty of Subversion

Pendragon: The Quest For King Arthur, by Andy Winter, Jim Lavery, Aljosa Tomic and Rob Jones, is an old-fashioned tale of modernisation that features Arty (or is it Arthur?) the King of Britons starts from a bizarre kidnapping by a super fan-turned-stalker, then onto an epic adventure made of myth and legends. There’s also a little bit of porn along the way?

This comic has the obvious essentials of a usual comic book story and artistry but is also unashamedly very political in the beginning with its poke at the modern world and all its evils, a bit of a dig at the trend of Joe Public wanting their fifteen minutes of fame. This also raises its ugly head later when our lead sadly seems to be as bitter and as twisted as you would expect when you end up being a looser in life and reality competition. What a perfect patsy for a sci-fi and myth-inspired bad guy!

On reading and trying to follow the story, it reads like an A.U version of the myth of Arthur and the knights of the round table, although the comic does actually hold its own for the majority of the plot.

There’s a bit of a mash up in what is the usual construct found in sci-fi iconography, if on the violent end of the spectrum. A few of these factors are good man turns bad, monsters (tentacles included), a bend of an existing myth as explained in its title and a few others things beside including most obviously a dragon or two.

It’s done well, although I think the art exceeds the plot line and shows off a skill set that’s high end but raw. The writing is as it should be and the artistry, colours and lines is on point when trying to tell this tale in its portrayal of ‘ye olde’. However, it’s also very much in the now, but also the reds, the darks and the hues of melancholy and dread and violence. The comic is weirdly fanciful fiction of science and myth. Wasn’t that what the legend of King Arthur was about – mystery and magic or is this a suggestion that it was science fiction fit for a comic?

Wonderfully ghoulish and violent at the end if that’s your kind of thing but with that questioning question mark at the end perhaps suggests it was all made up in the end or is there more to follow to a story so undeniably blokey but fascinatingly realistic with some hint at the humor, certainly not laugh out loud but it is there.

Hopefully there will be more, otherwise why would you end with a question mark?

Are you a fan of alternate takes on myths and legends? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet! You can find out more about Pendragon: The Quest for King Arthur from Andrew Winter’s blog.

About the author

Laura Sansom

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