"Kill the Minotaur #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa
Illustrated by Lukas Ketner
2017, 42 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 14th, 2017
Greek myths have stood the test of time. They're still being told today and will continue to do so for years to come. Kill the Minotaur is the latest such retelling, providing a new take on this creature and the relationship between Athens and Crete. The one thing that's clear with this book is that these are bloody times.
I am so glad to see Lukas Ketner's artwork again. I love his work on Witch Doctor, so that was what initially drew me to Kill the Minotaur. He delivers quality images from page one. The book opens on this massive, unworldly pit in Crete with King Minos and his advisers standing on its edge. It looks like something out of an alien invasion movie, as if a spaceship had just taken off and this is what it left behind. This is what will become the famous labyrinth where the Minotaur lurks.
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A few pages later, we jump eight years into the future and we see the same shot, but from Athens instead of Crete. By contrast, it's a bustling metropolis with numerous structures and vibrant color. It's full of life whereas the pit in Crete was nothing but death and desolation. This is where we meet our would-be hero Prince Theseus, a bright-eyed young man that's tired of watching his people literally sacrifice themselves to King Minos.
There's one other player that Ketner beautifully designed. That's Daedalus, King Minos' chief adviser and Master of the Labyrinth. He shows up in Athens in his ceremonial garb, clad in a long red rob with an opposing bull's head made of gold covering his own. It gives him an emotionless quality as he walks through the city. It's even creepier when he suddenly appears in a room, like he just walked through the shadows.
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Despite living under such harsh circumstances with the soldiers of Crete taking human sacrifices from Athens on a regular basis, Theseus has this naiveté about him. He can sweep into the enemy forces and kill the evil king. He'll be hailed as a hero and they'll make songs about him. This changes a bit once he sees firsthand how harsh Minos can be. The man has been through some rough times in his life and he holds himself to a different standard. There is an absolutely brutal panel where he delivers swift justice for what looks like a very minor offense.
This issue serves as a great introduction to Kill the Minotaur, slowly pulling you into this world and showing you the players involved. It's filled with intrigue and danger. The legendary monster is seen in shadow and referenced frequently, allowing your mind to start imagining just how horrible it looks. I cannot wait to see it in action.