Hannibal Ad Portas


fireshot-capture-1-shadowline-web-comics-c2bb-hannibal-goes-to-rome-www_shadowlinecomics_com_webcomics__hannibalgoestoromeI’m not generally that Keen on historical comics unless they have cracking artwork or splendid fictionalised characters added into the mix.  Hence my love for SPQR Blues which uses a historical backdrop for its intriguing narrative.

Hannibal Goes to Rome on the other hand is purely historical but it is told with humour and flair. Brendan McGinley takes the dry as dust histories and pokes fun at the fantastical and ludicrous events that have passed down to the modern day.  Now this isn’t a laugh riot, it is occasionally hit and miss in its humour. It has to be said some of the jokes are kind of in jokes for historians (Numidian cavalry is all I’ll say)  Although I found McGinley on target more often than not.

Hannibal’s crossing of the alps is well known or should that be we’re all aware that it happened but we’re short on detail.  Well Hannibal goes to Rome has the missing detail in spades without coming across as a textbook.

That said I found the first four pages or so quite confusing as either I’m being really dense or the grammar doesn’t quite work.

What made me stay the course was Mauro Vargas artwork which brings out most of the humour in the narrative and tells a visual story that either illustrates or parodies the historical. Some of the characters do have Asterix-esque  noses but I found that strangely compelling. It is the artwork that also raises Hannibal above the humour to remain a dark and brooding presence, who is every inch the hero.

It’s an intriguing title and I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how it develops and I may even learn something.

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  1. February 27th, 2009

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