Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 35.
- Review Date: 2009-09-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Medieval swordplay and adventure have never been as glorious as in Foster's Sunday-only comic strip. Although much reprinted (including an earlier version from the same publisher), this edition has been reproduced from pristine printer's proofs to give the gorgeous artwork its crispest version ever. The story takes young Prince Valiant, exiled heir to the conquered kingdom of Thule, from a witch's evil prophecy to adventure at the court of King Arthur, with stops for heroic rescues, conniving foes, beautiful maidens, Viking invasions and even a broken heart or two. Narrated in captions rather than told in speech balloons, Foster's script is literate and full of vivid characterizations, like the headstrong but cunning Val and carefree Sir Gawain. But nothing surpasses his artwork—rich with details of armor, weapons and dress, the story comes to life with a palpable sense of magic and danger. Each drawing is a flawless illustration, perfectly composed; even a battle of 20 men comes alive in a tiny panel, with every action clearly delineated. Prince Valliant is one of the best-drawn comics ever, and this new edition does ample justice to its achievement. Bonus material includes an interview with Foster and an afterword by editor Kim Thompson for context. (Aug.)