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Review: Toil and Trouble #1

ToilAndTrouble_001_A_MainGoing to school in two different countries, can be an adjustment, for anyone, as you not only have to get used to different teaching styles and expectations but vastly different curriculum. Case and point, when I was going to what we call in America, elementary school, in Trinidad and Tobago, I remember reading Macbeth and Hamlet and a few other Shakespearian plays, during my time there, basically from when I was 7 until I turned 11. I would not pick up anything by Shakespeare, again until I got into high school, and yet it still felt familiar despite the gap in time from all those years ago and miles between countries traveled. I am not saying that Shakespeare by any means is an easy read, as old English has its challenges, and if was not for the actor’s inflections and understanding of the source material in their performances, one can get lost, which is the reason why Mel Gibson’s Hamlet and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, such enjoyable films, as compared to some lesser interpretations.

Despite Shakespeare’s iconoclast status, many of his works are treated with kid’s gloves, and are often given modern interpretations, with modern settings but not much else have been reinvented or added. As a writer, I often wonder how classic stories, from literature and culture from around the world, would have been written from certain points of view versus how they were eventually written and sent out into the world. How would the original Star Wars Trilogy be, if it were solely from Han Solo’s or Boba Fett’s points of view? As far as Shakespeare‘s works, me personally, I wanted to know what was Caliban’s point of view, in the Tempest.

Amongst, Shakespeare’s most famous works, the witches of Macbeth, are often played as typical villains and vehicles to keep the story moving, but in Mairghread Scott’s Toil and Trouble, she gives them quite a different   and refreshing interpretation. The first issue reintroduces you to Smertae, Riata, and Cait, as the first scene opens with Smertae, wielding her power to help the Vikings, as she was previously banned by her sisters. The reunion between the sisters is very heartfelt as they act like typical teenage girls, with the exception of being more powerful and dangerous. The first issue ends with the reader meeting more of the original characters from Macbeth, but also and most importantly, how when these three combine their powers, they are a force to be reckoned with, as they tip everything in King Malcolm’s favor and destroy armies which exactly underpins what Smertae says in her narrative” No King has ever ruled without our consent

This reinterpretation is a revelation, as it is both fun and has enough of a foot within the original story to be recognizable, which makes this a solid series thus far. The story by Mairghread Scott is very well researched in Celtic mythology and delivers a concise narrative. The art by Kelly and Nichole Matthews is vibrant, as their character designs especially when it comes to Smertae, Riata, and Cait, shows their attention to detail, as this detail also lends itself to the beautiful backgrounds. Overall, an excellent story, which although I know what will ultimately happen, it still will be exciting to read what happens next.

Story: Mairghread Scott Art: Kelly and Nichole Matthews
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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