Promethea is a comic steeped in magic and mysticism. Created by Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, and Mick Gray, this incredible and intriguing comic book series was published by America’s Best Comics/WildStorm from 1999 to 2005.
The story revolves around Sophie Bangs, a college student from an alternate futuristic New York City in 1999. She becomes the embodiment of Promethea, an incredibly powerful entity, whose task is to bring about the Apocalypse.
Promethea comic book series incorporates magic, mysticism, mythology, spirituality, and science-fiction elements. The plot essentially starts with a Christian mob attacking a magician’s home in Egypt in the 5th century AD. He sends his daughter, Promethea, away hoping the gods of ancient Egypt and Greece will save her.
Fast forward to the late 20th century in New York City where Sophie is trying to interview a woman named Barbara Shelley for a college paper she is writing about Promethea.
Sophie gets attacked by a creature known as a Smee and is rescued by Barbara, who instructs Sophie to write a poem about Promethea. This causes Sophie to become the next vessel for Promethea. Sophie then embarks on a journey to learn about Promethea and the previous vessels who had previously embodied the entity.
Five graphic novels and one hardback issue make up the Promethea series, filled with occult and mystical symbolism, drawing in various religious and cultural references.
It is basically a feminist twist on the superhero narrative. Given its unique take on this comic book genre, Promethea is definitely worth checking out.
Promethea Book One Review
Promethea is a brilliant comic book series created by Alan Moore and artist JH Williams III. The incredible story blends mythology, magic, and science-fiction in a unique and captivating way.
The first volume of the series is a masterpiece, introducing the reader to an incredibly detailed and complex universe, teeming with symbolism, mythology, and mysticism.
The story revolves around Sophie Bangs, a student who becomes embroiled in a quest to uncover the truth about the mysterious Promethea. Promethea is a mythical character that has been a part of various cultures throughout history, and is known to possess incredible powers, including the ability to manipulate reality, bend space and time, and even manifest in physical form.
The artwork of the comic is fantastic, with JH Williams III’s style creating a truly immersive experience for the reader. The pages are filled with intricate drawings, detailed panel layouts, and vivid colors that bring the story to life. The artwork is so mesmerizing you can spend hours simply admiring it.
What sets Promethea apart from other comic books is its deep and thought-provoking plot. The story is densely layered, with multiple levels of meaning and symbolism. The reader is invited to explore some of the most profound philosophical and spiritual questions, such as the nature of reality, the power of creativity, and the meaning of existence.
The blend of ancient mythology and modern science creates an unforgettable experience that will leave you pondering about life, the universe, and everything.
As a protagonist, Sophie Bangs is a memorable and compelling character. She is a teenage girl who is curious, brave, and has a strong sense of justice. Throughout the story, she is plunged into deep philosophical debates about the nature of the universe and the role of myth and magic in human history. As she uncovers the secrets of Promethea, she also discovers the power of imagination, creativity and self-understanding.
Promethea book one references various mythical and religious systems, from ancient Egyptian gods to Jewish Kabbalah to modern pop culture mythologies. By weaving these mythologies together, Moore creates a fully realized and meaningful world that changes from futuristic settings to environments that bring to mind ancient Greece.
Overall, Promethea comic book 1 is a work of art. Its unique blend of science-fiction, mysticism, and mythology together in an unforgettable spiritual adventure.
The dense and complex plot may be a challenge for casual readers, but those who take the time to dive into the story will find themselves thoroughly engrossed.
The artwork by JH Williams III is simply breathtaking and elevates the story to a whole new level. It’s a testament to the creative power of comics, and a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the deepest realms of the human experience.
Promethea Book Two Review
Promethea Book 2 by Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III continues with the incredible story of Promethea.
The story follows the adventures of Promethea as she travels through different dimensions and times to learn about the true meanings of magic, spirituality, and creativity. Like its predecessor, Promethea Book one, this book is an epic journey of self-discovery and realization.
The story begins with the introduction of Barbara Shelley, a young girl who has been chosen to become the next vessel for Promethea. Her journey to becoming the iconic superhero is not a smooth one, as she is constantly faced with obstacles and challenges that test her strength and determination.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Promethea Book 2 is its exploration of the concept of imagination. Moore and Williams take readers on a journey through various realms of imagination, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. Through Barbara’s adventures, readers are able to see how imagination can be a powerful tool for change and creation.
Promethea Book 2 also delves deeper into the ideas of spirituality and magic. Using Promethea as a conduit, Moore and Williams examine various aspects of these concepts, showing how they can be used for both good and evil.
One of the best examples of this is the character of Sophie Bangs, Barbara’s best friend. Sophie is a non-believer, and her skepticism towards the supernatural leads her down a dark path. Her journey demonstrates how skepticism and cynicism can be just as dangerous as blind faith.
Furthermore, the book’s inclusion of historical figures is both entertaining and educational. The story features appearances from the likes of William Blake, Aleister Crowley, and Harry Houdini, all of whom play integral roles in Promethea’s journey. These characters are portrayed in an accurate and respectful manner, making the book a valuable source of information for those interested in history and mythology.
Overall, Promethea Book 2 is a must-read for its exploration of imagination, spirituality, and magic. It is not only thought-provoking but also highly entertaining. The beautiful artwork and attention to detail make this book a visual feast, while the well-crafted story and characters make it a literary masterpiece.
The Holy Grail in Promethea
Promethea even explains the mystery of the Holy Grail, which the Arthurian Knights sought to find on their quests. It was a real eye-opener. I have to say I immediately thought of King Arthur and the Greek Gods when reading this.
Tarot card mysticism in Promethea
Another thing I found highly fascinating in Promethea Book 2 was the Tarot card explanations. Wow!
Promethea Book Three Review
In Promethea Book 3, Sophie/Promethea continues her quest to find the lost souls of humanity and bring them back to the light. Along the way, she encounters various figures from myth and legend.
The story weaves together elements of mythology, religion, science, and philosophy to create a complex and fascinating tapestry of ideas. One of the key themes is the idea that words and images have a hidden power that can shape our reality. This is exemplified in the character of Jack Faust, who has learned how to manipulate the symbols of language to control the minds of others.
Another theme is the idea that our identities are not fixed or stable, but can be transformed or transcended through imagination and spiritual practice. Sophie/Promethea is a shining example of this, as she learns to embrace her own power and identity as a divine being. Alongside her, we see other characters who are struggling to find their own identities and place in the world, such as the Fool and the demonically possessed Margie.
A highlight of the book is the section devoted to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who appears to Sophie/Promethea in a dream and takes her on a tour of the afterlife. This sequence is a breathtaking display of Williams III’s artistic versatility, as he depicts the landscape of the afterlife as a series of shifting, abstract spaces, filled with strange shapes and symbols. Moore uses the myth of Isis to explore ideas of death and rebirth, transformation, and the eternal nature of the soul.
Throughout the book, Moore’s writing is both poetic and philosophical, combining erudition with a playful sense of humor. The ending of the book is both stunning and ambiguous, leaving the reader with many questions and possibilities.
Like the best works of art, Promethea Book 3 invites multiple interpretations and meanings, and rewards repeated readings.
Overall, Promethea Book 3 is a masterpiece of comic book storytelling, combining stunning artwork with deep philosophical ideas. It is a book that rewards patience, attention, and reflection, and is sure to stay with the reader long after the final page has been turned.
Charon, The River Styx
Promethea even journeys to the Underworld in book 3. Charos the ferryman takes Promethea for a boat ride on the River Styx to Hades — the Underworld.
Apollo, the God of Light in Promethea
Apollo had to make an appearance in Promethea at some stage.
Promethea was one of Alan Moore’s most notable works. It was published in 1999 by America’s Best Comics and was created in collaboration with artist J. H. Williams III.
Alan Moore is a prolific writer, known for being an innovator of the comic book medium. He was born on November 18, 1953, in Northampton, England. From a young age, Moore was interested in literature, and as a teenager, he started writing his own comics.
He began his career in the late 1970s, working for British comic book companies such as 2000 AD and Warrior. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that he became a household name with his groundbreaking work on Watchmen, a comic book that redefined the genre. Since then, Moore has worked on a number of projects, including V for Vendetta, From Hell, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
One of Moore’s most memorable creations is Promethea. The series, published by America’s Best Comics, ran from 1999 to 2005 and was critically acclaimed for its innovative storytelling, intricate plot, and stunning artwork.
J. H. Williams III
J. H. Williams III is an American artist known for his acclaimed work on various comic book series like Batwoman, The Sandman: Overture, and Promethea. He is known for innovative storytelling techniques and his unique, highly-detailed art style.
Williams first rose to prominence in the comics industry in the late 1990s with his work on the comic book series Promethea, created in collaboration with writer Alan Moore.
The comic book tells the story of a young woman who becomes a vessel for the ancient force of magic known as Promethea, and Williams’ artwork plays a crucial role in bringing this mystical world to life.
One notable feature of Williams’ art on Promethea was his innovative use of layouts and composition to reflect the mystical and mythical elements of the story. Williams would frequently create intricate and layered compositions that incorporated a range of visual styles and elements, such as tarot cards, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Art Nouveau-inspired designs.
Williams’ work on Promethea also showcased his expertise in panel-to-panel storytelling, with fluid transitions and imaginative page layouts that added depth and meaning to the story. Additionally, his attention to detail, particularly in the intricacies of Promethea’s magical powers and transformations, helped to immerse readers in the fantastical world of the comic.
Mick Gray is an American comic book artist, inker and colorist. He is best known for his work as an inker on various DC Comics titles, including Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. Gray is also well-known for his collaboration with writer Alan Moore on the comic book series, Promethea.
Promethea is a superhero comic book series created by Alan Moore and illustrated by J. H. Williams III. The series ran for 32 issues from 1999 to 2005 and follows the adventures of Sophia Bangs, a college student who is transformed into the titular Promethea, a powerful warrior goddess.
Mick Gray worked as an inker on the series from issue 7 onwards, collaborating with Williams III and later Cameron Stewart as the primary artists. Gray’s inks helped to bring a clean, crisp look to the series and he was praised for his attention to detail and ability to enhance the artwork without overpowering it.
In addition to his work on Promethea, Gray has worked on a number of other notable comic book titles, including The New Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, and The Flash. He is also a co-founder of Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization that recognizes and promotes the work of comic book inkers.
Overall, Mick Gray’s contributions to Promethea helped to make the series a critical and commercial success, and his skill as an inker has made him a sought-after collaborator in the comic book industry.
Promethea Review: Conclusion
So far, after reading three of the books in the Promethea series, I have found them to be exceptional comic books. Using Greek mythology as a part of the storyline, combined with excellent storytelling and stunning artwork, makes reading Promethea a unique and unforgettable experience.
Promethea is more than just a comic book. It is a journey into the world of imagination, dreams, and legends.
Alan Moore’s vision and J.H. Williams’ illustrations are a perfect marriage of style and substance, making this a series that is both intellectually stimulating and visually stunning.
The Promethea comic book series isn’t for everyone, but for those who love mythology and the surreal, it’s not to be missed!
Promethea is a masterpiece that should be celebrated for its imagination, its beauty, and its power to inspire. If you’re a fan of comic books but haven’t yet discovered Promethea, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Each book in the Promethea series will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. I can’t recommend reading Promethea highly enough.
I do have a few criticisms because you will have to slog through some pages where you start thinking why it needed to be included, but then you strike gold by continuing, so I definitely can’t give Promethea a ten out of ten rating score.
My rating is still very high! Believe me, you won’t regret reading it.
Promethea Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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