Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Camelot 3000 by Barr & Bolland

In the late 1980's DC COMICS was producing groundbreaking comics. Camelot 3000 was the first comic produced exclusively for comic shops and not distributed to newsstands. It was also the first series marketed directly for adults. I'm in love with the Arthurian Myths in all its forms and this graphic novel was my first over 20 years ago!

Recently while visiting a used book store I found this great reprint book collecting the entire series. I enjoyed rereading it and found the action and adventure of the tale really has stood the test of time.

The story opens in the city of London in the year 3000. Earth has recently been subjected to an alien Invasion and major cities are being conquered. A young man on the run from the aliens finds himself at Glastonbury Tor and at the crypt of the once and future king: Arthur. As Tom opens the crypt thinking to hide, he is surprised to find Arthur rising from the tomb. Time has not dulled Arthur's battle  stamina as he quickly disarms an alien and leads Tom on a quest to find Merlin. Once Merlin awakes he sends a magical call to 7 of Arthur's bravest Knight's to come to his side and to save the world.

Reading this tale  was such a wonderful experience. Artist Brian Bolland creates such expressive characters and emotive scenes. I really enjoyed seeing the different versions of the Knights. Since Merlin's spell seeks out the reincarnated souls of  Arthur's companions, many of them are in different circumstances in life and even different sexes.

The most empowering storyline in this book is that of Tristan. Sir Tristan has reincarnated in the body of a woman, despite every thought and feeling in his heart proclaims him a man. Now he  must deal with the Knights  reactions towards him as well as his reunion with his lady love Isolde. who is once again a woman.

Barr uses this story element as a beautiful way to show how often the things we love about a person can transcend age, race, and gender.

All the wonderful elements from the classic tale are here: Gawain, Morgan Le Fay, Lancelot. All of them folded into a wonderful heroic tale.

A must for fans of Arthurian legend and a great introduction into the Graphic Novel world.

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