Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Beowulf by Gareth Hinds is a graphic novel based on the epic tale of the warrior prince of the same name. The book opens when Beowulf is a young man. He is from Geatland. Modern scholars believe it to be southern Sweden.
Gareth Hinds divides the graphic novel into three books. In book one, we meet a young, strong Beowulf. He comes to Hrothgar’s Danish Kingdom. A hideous creature, Grendel, is wrecking havoc. No person is safe within the banquet hall at night, for Grendel kills them. Beowulf arrives in the neighboring Danish Kingdom vowing to kill the monster who plagues the people. The warrior prince vows to defeat Grendel with no weapons, just his bare hands. He is successful.
In book two, a problem arises. Grendel’s mother is not happy with the previous fight’s outcome. She kills Hrothgar’s friend and vows to kill others. Again, Beowulf vows to rid the Danish Kingdom of its enemies. Again. Beowulf is the victor.
The final book, opens with Beowulf as an older man. Years of battle and time have taken its toll. The old warrior is now a great leader, but peace evades his kingdom. A Dragon descends on the Geats’ land determine to make their lives uneasy. Beowulf must save his people's lives. He does at the lost of his own.
Now the beauty of Gareth Hinds’ Beowulf is his illustrations. His drawings capture the strength of the great warrior and later its depletion. The straining muscles of the battling foes pop from the pages. Like the usual graphic novels the drawings are dark. Gareth Hinds uses mainly blues, greens and browns in books one and two. On these pages, Beowulf is a colorful man full of youth. The final book pages are black and white depicting Beowulf’s final days.
Some pages have few splatters of red blood. The splatters are mostly black and not so shocking. This is not the standard of many graphic novels. The words: Whack, Whang, etc. are few and far. Gareth Hinds’ dark drawings and text tell a small portion of the great epic tale of Beowulf. The original is over a thousand pages.
Gregory Hinds’ Beowulf is for the young adult who loves graphic novels. It is a good way to introduce the character to them. They read the text to follow the action, but it is not daunting for the reluctant reader. Parents who don’t want their offspring to see graphic scenes, Beowulf is not a book to purchase. It is for those who know graphic novels are the only ones of interest to their children. For Beowulf is an excellent book to introduce the deeds of the epic hero, Beowulf.
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Note: Beowulf illustrated by Gareth Hinds was received from Media Masters.