Kill the Minotaur #1
Story: Chris Pasetto, Christian Cantamessa
Art / Cover: Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Lukas Ketner
Review by Christoph Staffl
What’s the first thing that you think of when you hear “Minotaur”? The labyrinth? Daedalus? Maybe even Theseus? The Minotaur may be one of the most prominent figures in all of Greek mythology. With the body of a man and the head of the bull, this creature lives at the center of the labyrinth and guards its offerings. The labyrinth itself was designed by Daedalus, an inventor and engineer. With the aid of the gods he shaped this giant monstrosity right out of his mind so that the people of Crete were safe from the Minotaur. The father of the creature is King Minos of Crete. He is a ruthless and unforgiving King – enslaving not just his own people, but seeking the offerings for his son in the midst of the people of Athens.
It’s in Athens that we meet Theseus, son of the old King. He seems to be very passive and every time Minos’ men come to seek the offering of seven young men and seven young women, he gives them away without any hint of resistance. He does this to prevent war and keep the “peace” they have – at least he says so. Is there something else going on? I do not want to tell you more about the story or even the original myth, because this would spoil everything. But I can say this: The comic stays very true to the basic plot points of the myth. This is a very welcoming fact, because this way, we don’t just get a story “inspired” by something, but we get to see the whole thing, as it could have happened – in a galaxy, far far away.
One of the problems one could have with a story that stays this close to the original narrative is, that the characterisation may be a little flat or the motives seem forced. You have to check off specific points in the story and therefore can forget, what the intrinsic force is, that pushes the protagonist forward. This is not the case for Kill the Minotaur. The creators Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa take their time and introduce each character properly. We learn about their lives, their fears, and what they want. The most important part though are their failures. Where the have potentials to grow and thrive, throughout the issues ahead. This makes them not just interesting, but intriguing.
Besides those well written dialogues and character moments, we also get an authentic design of the world surrounding those characters. Be it the buildings, the clothes, how the people interact with one another or the armour of the soldiers. We get a good glimpse into their everyday lives that takes place in a bright, sunny Athens. The images we get of the city are a great contrast of the dark and gritty Crete. But that is not surprising, as they must live with the labyrinth, directly at their doorsteps. It is a truly horrific place and you don’t want to be anywhere near it, when things get ugly. And they most definitely will.
I was really looking forward to see the Minotaur. What would it look like? How does he behave? But, what do most monster stories have in common (the good ones at least)? Right, they are very shy in showing us the actual monster. You, the reader, know it is there somewhere and that is the strength of this story as well. You are imagining it. Thinking about it. With every page it gets more gruesome. I am confident, when we see the Minotaur for the first time in its full beauty, the creators will not disappoint those expectations.
Buy it! Kill the Minotaur is a great re-telling of the myth and in the first issue you get 30 pages worth of story. And even though it is just the first issues, there are twists and turns around every corner. Great start for a new series.