REVIEW: Dueling Beowulfs

Perhaps because of the release of the movie, we had not one, but TWO graphic novel retellings of Beowulf nominated for a Cybil Award this year: Beowulf: Monster Slayer by Paul D. Storrie and Ron Randall (Graphic Universe/Lerner Publishing) and Beowulf by Gareth Hinds (Candlewick Press).

In her comparison review of the two titles, Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading discusses how each version takes a distinctly different approach to the tale–not just in terms of visual atmosphere but also with respect to language, narrative, and pacing. Here’s just one example of how the two titles stack up:

In the end of both books, Beowulf is an old man. In Storrie’s version,
he is old and grey, but with a full head of hair, a neatly trimmed
beard, and the same smooth, strong muscles he had as a younger hero.
Hinds’ version gives us a more realistic view of what an aged superhero
might look like. His Beowulf is balding on top with long stringy hair and a spade-length beard.

For the rest of the blow-by-blow comparison, read Mary Lee’s full review.