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Promethea, Volume 2 by Alan Moore
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Promethea, Volume 2

by Alan Moore, J.H III Williams (Illustrator)

Other authors: J. H. Williams, III (Introduction)

Series: Promethea (2)

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Sophie Bangs is a college student researching a character that has appeared independently in a variety of forms throughout arts and literature since the eighteen hundreds. However, Promethea is no mere story character – she is actually a mythological being that becomes manifest when an author depicts Promethea in a variety of literature – poetry, comic strips, pictures, and so forth.

In the second volume of Promethea, a variety of demons have grouped together to fight against Promethea, and Sophie must deal with the skills that she currently possesses. After dealing with the problem, Sophie continues to explore the breadth of her abilities, coming to terms with the powers that she now possesses.

The Promethea series is quite an interesting graphic novel series. Alan Moore is doing quite a few experimental things in the graphic novel medium in this series of books, and whether you like what Moore is attempting or not, it does maintain interest. Some of the experimentation works, and works quite well. Some of it does not work so well, or, what I suspect is more likely, I am not able to appreciate what Moore is trying to achieve. But, in both cases, does make for interesting reading. Although that sounds somewhat confusing, I’ll elaborate on this in a moment.

The plot of Promethea itself, is of a fictional character (Promethea, titular character) that becomes manifest in the real world, is interesting and engaging, and done well, but with that said, it is sometimes (well, more than sometimes) difficult to follow. Moore depicts quite a complex theology, and the resulting ideas that are associated with it, and while his main points are put across quite clearly, such as the basics of the theology, and how fiction can be real in a particular sense, the more complex aspects of the theology are quite hard to grasp. It’s not that Moore does a bad job of it, quite the opposite, but it’s quite a complex subject and the somewhat experimental style of story-telling here.

Moore also employs multiple styles of writing and story-telling methods, too. He uses several types of literature forms to tell the story of Promethea. There is the graphic novel form (obviously), poetry, and fictional narratives, for example. Moore also employs other literary devices, such as showing multiple story threads as text at once, and knocking against the fourth wall in several places in the comics grabs attention, too. It’s interesting, it’s unique, but it can be quite hard to follow at times.

The art work and colouring deserve discussion, too. The experimentation is not merely limited to the method Moore employs to tell his story, but also in the artwork and presentation. The panel layout, for example, rarely sticks to the traditional rectangular movement, the layout and the flow of panels often changing. However, this inventiveness is both its strongest point and its largest weakness. Occasionally, the colour schemes make the story somewhat difficult to follow. The variety in panel layouts can be confusing, because the flow of the panels is not always clear, and this has a tendancy to disrupt the flow of the story.

The artwork and colouring shown in these graphic novels is excellent, particularly in the later volumes. The colour schemes and art styles change quite often too, sometimes multiple times in a single comic strip. These changes signify different time periods, different areas of the non-physical worlds which Promethea visits in her travels, and so forth. A lot of effort has been put in here, but some of the colour schemes and art styles work better than others.

In the second book of Promethea, while the book contains much of the excitement of the first book, Moore starts to show his ideas, particularly that of magic, and his theology. It is interesting, but I must admit that I find it difficult to follow at times.

Overall, the Promethea graphic novel series is quite an interesting one, not only in regards to how it succeeds both as a story and graphic novel, but also in regards to how it does not. The rankings I give to the various volumes within the Promethea series are not a reflection of the quality of the books, rather, how well I am able to appreciate them, because I can admit that much of the theology Moore outlines is beyond me. ( )
  rojse | Oct 20, 2009 |
Promethea is a delight. While of course the second volume cannot match the newness and discovery of the first, it continues to be excellent, and provides many thrills of the unexpected-solution and character-payoff varieties. Containing several episodes in the life of Promethea, as well as issues of her comic book, this one runs the gamut from your basic city-in-peril to a history of the universe in tarot arcana. ( )
1 vote eilonwy_anne | Jan 21, 2008 |
Volume two of Moore's series. The highlights here include a walk through the major arcana of the Tarot, with close attention to how it interacts with humanity. There is also a tantric sex sequence, as Sophie/Promethea goes through the chakras. ( )
1 vote Arctic-Stranger | Jan 14, 2008 |
As Promethea continues, along with exploring a mythic female superhero archetype with a long line of predecessors like the Phantom, but magical, Moore delves into his own mystical interests through dialogues and the Tarot. If you are looking for a straight superhero story, this will definitely disappoint, if you don't like Hellblazer, or Swamp Thing, or Sandman, or other such mysticism, it is very very unlikely that you will enjoy Promethea, other than for the artwork.

http://graphicsf.blogspot.com/2006/11/promethea-2.html ( )
  bluetyson | Sep 29, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
The book becomes Moore’s lecture about his ideas of how magic works, beginning with a walk through the Tarot as representative of human history. The art, in conjunction, becomes symbolic, with allusions and anagrams, references and experimentation galore.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Mooreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, J.H IIIIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, J. H., IIIIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A girl dreams - romantic pictures and earthly themes.
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New York, 1999
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"University student Sophie Bangs has been caught up in a living myth...granted the power of the mystic warrior Promethea, she continues to explore the vast wonders of human imagination, while battling the demonic forces arrayed against her"--Cover p. [4].… (more)

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