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Borgia - Blood for the Pope by Alejandro…

Borgia - Blood for the Pope

by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Milo Manara (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Borgia (1)

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Borgia is meant to be a retelling of the saga of the Borgia family, who ruled Rome for a period during the Italian Renaissance after the corrupt acquisition of the papal throne for Rodrigo Borgia, their patriarch. Rumors of hedonism, poisonings, bribery, rape, and even incest have followed Rodrigo and his children (the infamous Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia among them) for centuries, so it seems obvious that Jodorowsky chose this story because of the ample opportunity it presented him to showcase Manara's considerable talent for depicting murder, mayhem, and women in all states of undress.

Milo Manara's art is fantastic, as always, but the violence and general depravity in this book are simply too over-the-top. I don't object to brutality or base behavior when it is appropriate to the plot, but in Borgia these things seem to be used more as a substitution for a plot. The violence is so extreme that although compelling early on in the book, it quickly loses its shock value and becomes simply an unsurprising series of excuses for Manara to draw yet more sex, blasphemy, and gore. The presentation of the political climate of the time is striking, if a little heavy-handed, but this alone is not enough to keep the book moving forward. Neither are the characters, as none of them ever develop sufficiently out of their one-dimensionality to have strong enough personalities to carry the sagging plot, and none of them are particularly likable--even to each other.

History as told by Jodorowsky and Milo Manara is unspeakably, confrontationally violent and oversexed. It's also boring. I was especially disappointed because I quite enjoyed Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Jodorowsky's collaboration with French comic book artist Jean Giraud. Manara's watercolors are vivid and wonderfully done, but Jodorowsky's writing falls flat in this case. I give it a whole extra star for art quality alone, but without that strength, the book only rates two stars...if that. ( )
1 vote zhukora | Nov 6, 2009 |
The Borgias or Borjas were an Italian noble family of Spanish origin remembered today for their corrupt rule of the Papacy during the Renaissance. They are in fact thought to be "history's first criminal family" and a forerunner to the Italian Mafia.

The story opens up with the admonitions made by the philosopher Savonarola against the city of Rome--of it becoming a city of sin & listing down the atrocities being committed by the Pope & his bevy of cardinals while using God as their source of power.

The Plague has ravaged Rome and caught in the middle is the machinations of the candidacy towards pope hood by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia...

Book Details:

Title The Borgia #1 Blood for the Pope
Author Alexander Jodorowsky & Milo Manara
Reviewed By Purplycookie ( )
  purplycookie | Apr 10, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jodorowsky, AlejandroAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manara, MiloIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boschet, Jean-MichelTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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