Wow! This tale gets better with each issue. While I confess to being a bit of a Shakespeare snob (yes, I even attended a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon), I have to say that this comic series works for me on many levels.
The story continues with Falstaff joining Hamlet on his quest. Other characters who make their appearances in this issue are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as well as Puck. Lady Macbeth’s villainy is taken to new levels. She is truly wicked and the issue’s final scene is something right out of an Edgar Allen Poe tale.
There is a great section where Hamlet and Falstaff enter The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is a brothel. The scene is hilarious and I chuckled out loud several times. There are great puns and wordplay, and allusions to Shakespearean quotes. The quote that stands out as the funniest is when one of the wenches begs Hamlet to dip his quill into her inkwell. It was classic!
I’d like to talk about one of Puck’s quotes: “Though I be magic and I be most grand, man’s fate lies in your fickle, mortal hand.” I love this quote for several reasons. First, it can be read in iambic pentameter, which Shakespeare used liberally. It also addresses the debate between predestination and free will. Finally, I see a double entendre here, where mortal hand can mean both human action and ideas expressed through writing.
As I finish this post, I admit that I am itching to read the next issue. I’m completely hooked into this story and eager to see how it “plays” out. Expect another post soon.