Absolute Promethea Book One Hardcover – Oct 6 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
And it's extremely disappointing in terms of it being an Absolute edition. Usually these things are packed with extras. This has none. Nothing at all. And I'm not counting an introduction by Alan Moore (of the fictional history of Promethea) which probably (I can't honestly remember but it won't be original to this edition) appeared in an issue of the comic, and neither am I counting the one page afterword by Brad Meltzer. I was hoping for additional artwork by J H Williams 111, preparatory sketches and all that stuff. Nothing. Total disappointment. Maybe it's being saved up for the next two volumes. I can only live in hope.
And now for the good news.
The illustration on the box is of Promethea (there's a surprise) but printed in gold and it looks gorgeous. The cover on the book (no dustjacket, no big deal) is a wraparound by Williams and looks original to this book. The artwork inside benefits immensely from the larger format and the high quality paper. It is absolutely gorgeous and I'm quite prepared to state categorically that I believe this to be best illustrated of all Alan Moore's comics work. This isn't to denigrate any of the other artists who've worked with Moore. Moore has been very lucky in his career to have been able to use for his major works (with odd exceptions such as some issues of Miracleman) artists who have fitted his vision to perfection. But Promethea is just bloody beautiful.
This is appropriate because the story itself is an exciting, colourful, mysterious and hopeful one. I'll be sparing with the plot summary as I don't want to spoil anything for those discovering Promethea for the first time through this edition. Essentially: young student Sophie Bangs becomes the latest incarnation of the supposedly mythical Promethea (who, trust me, is not a Wonder Woman clone as thought before this series originally appeared). First, she has to survive the attention of magical enemies and then learn just who and what Promethea really is. The journey proves as unexpected for the reader as it does for Sophie.
For me, Promethea is one of Moore's finest and most imaginative creations and despite the lack of extras, this first book of three comes with my highest recommendation. This ranks with Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and Lost Girls to make an essential quartet of graphic storytelling.
And I had the same experience with pages sticking together and ripping at the bottom as the reviewer above. It only happened once and the tear was less than an inch, but it was cringe-worthy nonetheless.
All that said, I couldn't wait to get this in my hands. This is absolutely one of my favorite comic series of all time, and not just because it's by Alan Moore. I couldn't recommend Promethea enough. If you don't already own it and want to see some spectacularly beautiful artwork by J. H. Williams III at some of his best, I definitely recommend getting this collection.
Hell, I recommend getting it even if you don't. That is, if you can afford it.
This is my first Absolute purchase and I don't regret it at all.
The silkscreen cover is beautiful in real life. Only downside is that the company that made the cover ran the ink a little on the thin side. On some of the corners and edges the gold already flecked off, and that was in the shrink wrap! But it's a minor thing.
There has been some recoloring in comparison to the trade paperback (TPB) volumes. J.H. Williams' detailed illustrations and color have much needed new life. The book lays beautifully for those dramatic two page spreads. None of that 'cut off' that is seen in other over-sized hardcover editions.
Can't wait for the next volumes and completing the series.
The story itself is solid and entertaining, if you can stand some pretty self-indulgant, bizarre issues at the tail end of the book.
The art is great, and you can see Williams III improve with each issue. The best part of this series is watching him evolve into the full-blown artistic powerhouse he is now.