Review: Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night #4

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Publisher: IDW
Writers: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Art: Andy Belanger
Colours: Shari Chankhamma
Letters: Chris Mowry

With The Mask of Night #4, another installment in the Kill Shakespeare epic comes to an end, in suitably dramatic fashion. Juliet and Cesario have given themselves up to the mad cannibal Lucius Andronicus, but they don’t plan to go down without a fight. Unfortunately, the seemingly unkillable Cesario ends up being unequivocally killed, and Juliet finds herself outnumbered and outmatched. Hamlet immediately plots to rescue Juliet from her flesh-eating captor, but cannot convince the new captain of the Boreas, Viola, to help him. Her loyalty to her crew overrides her need for vengeance over Cesario’s death. Fortunately for Hamlet, Viola’s adventurous spirit doesn’t stay buried for long.

For fans of Kill Shakespeare’s strange Fables-meets-The Bard universe, the conclusion to The Mask Of Night will be pretty satisfying. It has all the swashbuckling high-seas adventure one could ask for, but it’s clear that this story belongs to the two couples at the centre of it all; Juliet and Hamlet, and Viola and Cesario. The story of the Prodigal Rebellion hasn’t progressed much in this mini-series, but the relationship between Juliet and Hamlet has been developed, with the tension surrounding them since the Prospero’s Island adventure being resolved. The real stars, though, are Viola and Cesario. Their stormy but passionate affair has been a pleasure to witness, and Viola emerges as the hero of the whole thing.

It seems that the creators have a cult hit on their hands. With stage show adaptations and a new board game based on the series, Kill Shakespeare’s future looks promising. Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have a great handle on the characters, shaping them into something new. The art by Andy Belanger is attractive as always, and the colours by Shari Chankhamma really help to set the moonlit adventure mood. Late in the comic, when it comes to its explosive conclusion, it looks positively gorgeous. If you haven’t been checking Kill Shakespeare out so far, now is a good time to catch up.

 

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