Promethea—Book 1

promethea book 1 cover j h williams iii art
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

More accessible than later issues of the series, great art, Weeping Gorilla

Gets very strange after this volume

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Promethea

Publisher:  America’s Best Comics

Writer:  Alan Moore

Artist:  J.H. Williams III

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2000

promethea #1 cover jh williams iii art

Promethea #1

Reprints Promethea #1-6 (August 1999-March 2000).  It is 1999, and Sophie Bangs is a college student working on her thesis.  While her friend Stacia Vanderveer is writing about the popular Weeping Gorilla, Sophia is on the trail of a character called Promethea which seems to pop-up in literature over the ages.  When she meets a woman named Barbara Shelley, who husband Steven Shelley wrote about Promethea, Sophie learns that Promethea is more than a literary character and that her ties to a world called the Immateria could change the world.  When Sophie is transformed into the next Promethea, she finds that Promethea’s threat of breaking down the barriers between Earth and Immateria has made her a target.

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by J.H. Williams III, Promethea—Book 1 collects the first six issues of the America’s Best Comics series.  The series was also collected in hardback as Absolute Promethea—Book 1 with issues #1-12.

Promethea was a launch title of the America’s Best Comics which Moore helped found under Image Comics.  While this volume introduces the characters and ideas, Promethea later almost becomes the linchpin of the entire America’s Best line.

Promethea is a strange comic but in this volume, it is pretty much a regular comic.  The series features a standard hero, villains, and storyline…something that by the end of the series is virtually given up.  It is interesting to go back and read Promethea if you know how much the series changed over the course of its publication.

promethea #5 cover jh williams iii art

Promethea #5

Moore has such a unique style to his writing.  The concepts in this comic are fantastic and the ideas about the connection between imagination and reality are also fun…honestly however, I could read a whole book on the Weeping Gorilla who little pontifications make me laugh every time (examples include “Everyone said I should get Windows ’95” and “The garage thinks it’s the clutch”)…fortunately this volume we don’t have much of Sophie’s creepy relationship with Jack Faust (Moore seems a bit obsessed with creepy sexual relationships).

The art for Promethea is also fantastic.  Promethea is listed as being co-created by its artist J.H. Williams III and would have a hard time reading Promethea without his great art.  Williams III’s art continues to grow and it is a bit more raw than his current art like in Batwoman (but still way ahead of the curve in comparison with many other artists).

Promethea—Book 1 is a great read, and this volume is for most adult readers.  As the series progresses, it gets more and more cerebral and less comic book based which might cause struggles for some readers (this volume is also a lot less preachy…something the comic was criticized for in later issues).  Promethea—Book 1 was followed by Promethea—Book 2 which collected Promethea #7-12.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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