Kill Shakespeare: Past is Prologue: Juliet #1

Juliet Lives! The newest chapter of the award-winning Kill Shakespeare series flashes back to five months after the death of Romeo, where Juliet is mourning yet another loved one – her mother. Now Juliet must discover who the murderer is, lest she becomes the next victim. New series artist Corin Howell (Transformers, The Mighty Zodiac, X-Files: Scully) takes the reins in a tale perfect for new readers to the series. (from IDW’s website)

In this alternate telling of what happens after Romeo and Juliet, Juliet lives and suffers alone after Romeo’s death. Juliet, presumably still the age she was in the original story, is self-absorbed and willful. She’s not immediately likable, exactly, but because the reader knows her story already, she’s at least relatable.

There are several nods to other Shakespeare works here, imagining them to be in the same world instead of all taking place somewhere separate. As someone familiar with Shakespeare, I appreciated that. I also appreciated that the language used is definitely meant to be “Shakespearean” but it’s still decently accessible. There may be some readers who find it tiresome, but as a style choice it makes sense.

The characters here are a little bland; the total focus on Juliet gives her a lot of personality but no one else much has one. The trickster who appears (who I read as being Puck, but I could be wrong) has a little bit more than the others, but he only appears for a couple pages. Still, there’s a really interesting plot. I’m a sucker for reimaginings of familiar tales so this was pretty enjoyable for me. The art – especially facial expressions – is pretty dynamic as well, and avoids being overtly sexual or too violent (outside of what is required by the plot).

4 out of 5 stars.

You can find more about this title, including how to order it, here.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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