Margaret Atwood is one of those writers who can both spellbind you and terrify you at the very same time. Her prose feels so voyeuristic, you feel kind of guilty even reading one of her powerful tomes. For the world seems to mostly have found The Handmaid’s Tale, through the TV series, it only sees a sliver of her genius. The connecting theme amongst her books, among many, is the breadth of a woman’s agency in the world.
As she has written books in several different timelines, evoking a woman’s struggles much in the way Philippa Gregory does in her books. It is her narrative that compels you to look but cringe in ways you could never imagine. The reality is, even though she writes fiction, does not mean, she doesn’t tell truth. In Stephen King and Owen King’s graphic novel adaptation of their hit book, Sleeping Beauties, we get a grim dystopia, much what Atwood, writes where one woman becomes an outlier.
We are taken to a future where a malady has made a lot of the female population to fall asleep because of a disease called Aurora, except one, who says her name is Eve and who lives in the woods by a town called Dooling. As she awakens and wanders, we find the town has a penitentiary and has its own share of troubles, as she happens upon a house, and kills all the men who live there. Meanwhile, even more cases start popping all across the world, the most prominent in Australia, as the town starts getting flooded by everything natural including insects and animals become suddenly supernatural, a seeming harbinger of worst things to come. The sheriff eventually arrest Eve and brings her to the prison, where things on the outside only get worse, riots escalate, and increasingly, women all around the world including Dooling unconsciously turn into homicidal killers, attacking men everywhere. Eventually, militias rise up, blowtorching any trace of Aurora, even if it means lives. BY volume’s end, Eve reveals she is immune and can end all the chaos while some desperate locals look to end things by their own means.
Overall, Sleeping Beauties Vol. 1 is an impressive story that has echoes of the panic that has occurred during our pandemic but reveals a much grimmer future. The story by the Kings is truly rapturous. The art of the creative team is awe-inspiring. The adaptation is some of the best work I have seen in a long time. Altogether, this adaptation of this modern classic is a game-changer.
Story: Stephen King and Owen King Adaptation: Rio Youers
Art: Alison Sampson, Annie Wu, Jenn Woodall Christa Miesner, Valerie Lopez, and Triona Tree Farrell
Story: 10 Adaptation: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Bookshop