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Promethea, Book 4 Paperback – April 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
There are two problems, though. First, P-Stacy isn't exactly considered a hero, and the FBI is on her trail. Second, P-Sophie is done with her trip to The World Beyond, but P-Stacy doesn't want to hand the job back. So, we have problems.
Moore's story moves faster in this volume, with a lot less of the oppressive pseudomysticism that bogged down in earlier volumes. Art by Williams and Gray only makes it better, and in varied visual idioms. Chapter 1 features painterly cloudscapes, with the occasional nod to Seurat. Ch. 3 switches to a flat, graphic, woodcut style. Ch. 4 experiments with color saturation - or lack of it. Ch. 5 draws on the comic idiom itself, but without smug self-referentiality. And, as in any good narrative art, the art moves the narration forward, adding its own meaning to the script.
The Promethea series has been good but uneven. This is not just a step forward for her (their?) story, but a step up.
Barbara to search for Barbara's lost husband Steve in the Immateria. The story is more of a platform for Alan Moore to share his learnings of magic (I remember reading he had studied magic or even practised it). However, it is full of interesting observations and connections, that tie together science, different religions and the origin of the universe. He uses Aleister Crowley as a character throughout the plot, and I suspect Moore must have used Crowley's material for much of his research. I'm curious how much of these connections were drawn from Moore's own insights and how much from his readings - not sure.
The layout of each page are creative and experimental. Sometimes, I found myself reading the panels in the wrong sequence, but quickly adjusted. The artwork and styles are a feast for the eyes. When I compare Promethea to some of my early comics from the 70's and 80's, it is amazing how finely-crafted the art, creative the stories, and experimental the compositions are these days. Amazing. All standards are being raised and broken.
The best story in my opinion was the nicely written gem about two Prometheas, from both sides of the Crusades and its juxtaposition with a modern conflict between two Prometheas. I thought the story ended poignantly, with a light-hearted epilogue. This story really reinforces the myth of Promethea and is a tribute to how deeply Alan has explored this character and the potentials of the myth.
The last part of the book refocuses back to the material plane and sets up a new plotline that leaves me eagerly waiting for the 5th book.
Make no mistake, the first half of the book is visually stunning. Each issue is set in a different sphere of magic and has a dominant color. JH Williams pulls out all the stops with visual references to Van Goth to Egyptian temple art. But after spending all of volume 3 in the magical realms these chapters feel like too much. When Promethia finally returns to the real world and starts the story moving again it is a tremendous relief.
So what is the excuse?
Dozens of issues later and I still don't know what a science villain is, nor a science hero, but that is probably just me being slow on the uptake.
My favorite part of PROMETHEA BVOLUME FOUR comes when she and Barbara spot Aleister Crowley sodomizing Victor Neuberg on the desert floor, a real life incident that led to Neuberg's eventual mental collapse. Neuberg was a very great English poet whose works have been strangely neglected, but maybe this comic will make young people reach for his verse once more? Some of the details have been changed, I think, but Alan Moore probably knows what he is doing (for one thing it was Neuberg who played the active role in the desert working, something which abhorred him to think of afterwards and which led to his cycles of madness and his extreme shivsring whenever one of his circle even dared mention that name of the man whom he'd topped all those years before), but pictorially it is probable better to have the ugly man do the mounting, plus it reflects an earlier issue in which Sophie sought out the caress and the "wand" of hideous fat old Jack Faust.
That trial at the end of the book, though, what cheese.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, as is the rest of the series. Storyline is great, artwork is fantastic.Published 2 months ago by Wendy
Promethea represents Alan Moore's story telling at its best, highly recommended.Published 15 months ago by P. Nicholson
Our heroine completes her quest at the higher levels, then returns to a fight with echoes of the past. Time to buy Book 5!Published on January 17, 2014 by innpchan
This and the other volumes of Promethea are the most profound and incredible comics I've ever read. It's better if you go in with at least a little bit of occult knowledge... Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by Some guy
This volume do not have the extensive talking heads of the previous volumes, hence feeling like the story moving forward unlike in vol2. and 3. Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by Josue Chaves
The Promethea series was the most interesting and inspiring graphic novels I've ever read. I can't see how Moore can top these.Published on April 28, 2009 by Nicholas J. Wion