Stan Lee's Romeo & Juliet: The War

6 Feb , 2012,
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The star-crossed lovers, from Romeo & Juliet: The War.

Romeo & Juliet’s been on the big screen. It’s also been adapted into an anime, and now, with comic legend Stan Lee’s sci-fi re-envisioning of this tale, it’s also a graphic novel.

Set against a backdrop of glowing neon, naked steel and harsh concrete, Romeo & Juliet: The War infuses this classic tale about star-crossed lovers with cybernetic warriors, genetically modified ninjas, and plenty of action splashed across 146 gorgeously painted pages.

The Montagues and Capulets are super soldiers – the progeny of two rival scientists charged with defending the Empire of Verona against its enemies – and while lasting peace has been brokered beyond the metropolis’s borders, the rivalry between these two factions run deep, and all it takes is a spark to ignite a new kind of conflict.

It is against this backdrop that The War unfurls, playing out the tragedy in three acts.

Check out the paneling for the fight sequences.

Nothing spells "love" quite like laser beams and explosions.

Skan Srisuwan and Studio Hive lend their creative talents to this volume, and the result is simply drool-worthy.

The futuristic city is rendered in brilliant detail, the character designs are exquisite, and the combat and conflict that exemplifies The War shines with fluid dynamism and a kinetic nature that synergizes perfectly with the invigorated art style and staccato paneling.

Mind you, if you’re hoping for a soppy love story in this rendition of Shakespeare’s classic, you’re out of luck. I can count the number of pages where the titular characters whisper sweet nothings to each other and kiss on one hand.

That is, of course, not to say that there’s no love in this epic space opera. After all, Romeo raids the armory and lays siege to a cathedral in the explosive finale, and all for Juliet. It’s a novel approach, to say the least, and I’m not ashamed to say that I found it vastly superior to what the Bard had come up with.

A really great read. Now, they just need to turn this into an animation or something.