Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Greatest Adventure: Beowulf

Based on the Anglo-Saxon mythic hero Beowulf, first depicted in the Nowell Codex, Beowulf: Dragon Slayer #1 debuted in May of 1975, written by Michael Uslan and drawn by artist Ricardo Villamonte. Riding on the popularity of the 1970s sword and sorcery craze the series starts out very close to the mythic Beowulf, but later veers wildly into the regions of science fiction and fantasy.  Only lasting six issues, it ran from May 1975 to March of 1976. Beowulf  begins in search of the monster Grendel, but take a detour into the Underworld where he rescues Nan-zee, a beautiful Swedish warrior from Demons who have been controlling her. Beowulf, Nan-Zee, and his fighting companions continue onwards towards Grendel but are again detoured, ending up in a bog where they now battle Swamp Men. More wild adventures follow as the warriors fall through a dimensional gateway where they eventually encounter many different adversaries across time and space. Dracula, a Lost Tribe of Israel, Ulysses, space aliens, and the Minotaur controlled by Satan were just a few villains wonderfully illustrated in Villamonte's lush style before the title unfortunately ended.

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