The tale of Theseus, recast into graphic-novel form.
Sound effects and wry dialogue (“Woe is us!” moan the young Athenian victims on their way to Crete) occasionally lighten the drama, but the art, which places small figures in rugged landscapes or period structures built to monumental scale, echoes the interspersed narrative’s formal, remote tone. Though the Minotaur displays likewise monumental thews, Theseus looks almost puny by modern hero standards—so much so that his battles with the bull-headed monster and earlier outsized foes (each of which is confined to a single anticlimactic panel) seem less struggles than stylized rituals. Furthermore, the telling is hung about with pedagogical implements: pronunciation guides (in a tiny font), “character cards” for the major players, a wordy annotated index, maps and, on the rear cover, even suggested discussion questions. Robert Byrd’s The Hero and the Minotaur (2005) lacks most such extras but tells more of the story, with considerably more vim. Pommaux’s suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship’s black sails because he was “distraught” over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch, but it’s not enough to rescue this wooden rendition.
A distant, uninvolving take on an archetypal hero tale. (bibliography) (Graphic mythology. 10-13)