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Promethea Paperback – February 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Each issue is becoming more jewellike and perfect, it seems to me (though I haven't gone on to the third compendium yet). One entire issue/chapter in this volume is given over to an exploration of humanity's history through the metaphor of a modified tarot deck, as told by the snakes on Promethea's caduceus, Mike and Mack (Micro and Macro - who speak in rhyming quatrains of iambic pentameter, flawlessly, each keeping his recognizable viewpoint towards either the big picture or the minutiae). Along the bottom of each page is both an anagram of Promethea's name that is pertinent to that page's content, and a serialized joke whose phrases again echo and reinforce the other three threads on each page. Another issue is given to an extended tantric sex scene (nothing is explicitly shown but boobies, though MUCH is implied), with a discussion of the theory and practice of magical symbolism and chakras ... which leads to a priceless last-page joke.
It's not a traditional narrative comic book. It's not even as traditionally-narrative as the first volume. It's ... dreamlike, and dense, and strange, in a way that is entirely appropriate for a work purporting to be about the world of imagination, and how that world interacts with our own through its avatar. It's not everyone's cup of tea, no. But if you like Neil Gaiman, you might well enjoy this too.
Alan's best known work is of course "Watchmen", often copied and emulated but still unequaled in depth and richness after more than a decade. However, it must not be forgotten that Alan has provided his avid fan base (and an immense number of casual comic book readers from all walks of life) with many delightful comics works since Watchmen. Of these, Promethea stands apart as a very emotional and personal work from its author.
This series is a vehicle for Alan to explore and expose to the readers many themes presumably dear to him. To be able to do so, he has devised a rather interesting trick for the story, creating a framework in which the primary characters (Promethea and her immediate supporting cast) evolve and convey the message to us readers (at some point, the so called "fourth wall" is even breached, much to the delight of Scott McCloud's fans). This trick consists, in fact, of a gigantic road trip through various realms (that is, places the characters visit during the stories) existing outside of our perceived "real" or physical world.Read more ›
This volume collects issues 7 through 12 of the series. If anything, it tops the previous volume.
Alan Moore and JH Williams III are firing on all cylinders here - we get quite a detailed examination of spiritual themes, contrasted and compared to quantum physics; some superheroing; one of the most sensual comics you're likely to see, and a diverse cast of characters.
The issue itself is quite well-done, combining multiple levels of visual and verbal narration. There's one thing you can't deny about Promethea as a series and that's that it pushed the limits of graphic story-telling in fabulously inventive ways. But the structural schematics of Moore's cosmology is, at base, crude, over-simplified, and frankly, very juvenile. As with all attempts to map reality onto a human-made conceptual framework, the supposed "discoveries" of the "truths" within the Tarot are, in fact, projections of Moore's own cultural vocabulary. That is to say, he doesn't uncover any meanings in the Tarot, he creates them based on ideologies that organize his thinking.
But besides this one hiccup, the series itself is still quite good at this point. As a meta-fictional tale about the nature of imagination, it's insightful, if not earth-shattering, and Moore's sense of humor and imagination, when he gives it full rein, is wonderful. He should probably get an award for the single greatest creation ever, the Weeping Gorilla. It's a comic-strip within the world of Promethea; each one is just a sad Gorilla crying while thinking about some utterly banal inconvenience of life that is so pathetic as to be tragic. Example: "Everyone said I should upgrade to Windows 95." Love it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Promethea represents Alan Moore's story telling at its best, highly recommended.Published 15 months ago by P. Nicholson
Both art and story line are great in all 5 of the books in this series. A beautiful product!Published 16 months ago by Belmont
An appropriately metaphorical journey through the essence and history of symbols, dotted with action and drama all told by symbols. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jonathan Lau
Wonderful seller, this looks brand new! And the graphic novels themselves (there's 5 in this set) are beautifully done, great artwork and easy to read (some aren't). Read morePublished 20 months ago by Wendy
It exceeded my expectations! Promethea so far is my favorite work from Alan Moore; I know most would agree on Watchmen, but I'm more into the mystical side of storytelling. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Rodney
The story arc for this book and the next one blew my mind. It was a completely new way to look at the system of Kabbalah, and the story line for it was intriguing, which made it... Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by S. Lehnert
I had already read it but I wanted to have my own copy.
You should read Promethea if you've read other sci fi books written by Alan Moore and enjoyed them.
After a spectacular start, the second half of Book 2 indulges in a long, LONG (and did I mention lengthy? Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by innpchan