By Alan Moore, J H Williams III & Mick Gray, with Jose Villarrubia & Jeromy Cox (America’s Best Comics)
Sophie Bangs is a student who can transform into the metaphysical, god-like being called Promethea. Throughout history some individuals have been able to manifest bodily as a Spirit of Imagination that resides in a meta-world of creativity named the Immateria where all gods, stories and ideas dwell. In practical terms Sophia can transform into a beautiful, powerful Amazon; a super hero – but like none the world has ever seen before.
Collecting issues #13-18 of the monthly comic, this volume deviates greatly from what we’ve come to expect of a heroic comic book. Sophie begins an epic saga of exploration as she determines to travel the ten spheres of the Kabbalah via the Thirty-Two paths revealed to her by the magician Jack Faust in her search of ultimate knowledge.
When she leaves she teaches her best friend Stacia how to access the power of Promethea – with unexpected and ultimately tragic results – before embarking on a visually stunning and intellectually challenging, graphically astonishing pilgrimage.
This is a graphic narrative experience that no word of mine can do justice to. Moore goes where no other comic writer has. The artist’s variety of style, line and even palette to accommodate the differing planes of reality are simply incredible. Not since Steve Ditko has the beyond looked so conclusively unnatural.
Although not to everyone’s taste, this is a landmark of experimental comic work and should at least be tried, but one word of warning; this story arc does not end with the volume. You will need volume 4 for the conclusion. In fact perhaps you’d be best advised to pick them all up at the same time.
© 2001, 2002 America’s Best Comics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.