Page 45 Review by Stephen
"What do you think, Eagle? Interpret my dream for me. Should I have left her to die?"
"Knowing what you know now?"
"Yes," says the eagle. "Clearly."
If you think the eagle's being harsh, then look at what we've done to this planet. Because the girl they're referring to was quite possibly the very first human, sculpted by Prometheus from clay.
Also, the eagle and Prometheus are on surprisingly good terms: it addresses the Titan as "my Lord", pays due deference and doesn't even rip out his liver until given explicit permission.
"We can pick up tomorrow, as ever." He's not exactly going anyway, chained to the mountain, and that liver regenerates daily.
Once the eagle's departed, mountain goats or deer lap at Prometheus' open-wound entrails, signalling the unnatural state of affairs.
The crisp lines and rich colours are gorgeous throughout, and I loved the textures in this sequence, particularly the lush, lichen-like mossy stuff he's sitting on. It looks pretty springy, rising from the hard rock formations in techno-organic patterns which we know that Nilsen is fond of. It matches Prometheus' mottled, horny-backed form.
I'm kind of hoping Hercules doesn't kill the raptor in this version. I like him.
The second chapter here is actually called 'Hercules' - which is intriguing given who startlingly pops back up in it. Long-term Nilsen fans may find him familiar. On the very first page, with the eagle soaring majestically above the desert at dawn, the barren but beautiful land scarred by exploded shell craters and up-ended military jeeps, I thought, "Ooooh, this is a bit DOGS & WATER!" I honestly had no idea.
The up-ended jeep will be revisited later on. To begin with it attracts the attention of the eagle on account of something rattling around inside it. It's a monkey. The side-window is shattered resourcefully with a rock, stray glass plucked away by a beak. Then something surprising happens which I found so funny. Terrific cartooning. You haven't seen the last of that chittering monkey, either.
From the creator of BIG QUESTIONS, POETRY IS USELESS DON'T GO WHERE I CAN'T FOLLOW, and THE END (GOD AND THE DEVIL back in stock soon), we have the first instalment of a long-form work which poses so many questions, mostly about war both present and in the mythological past, with something slightly futuristic slipped in for good measure. I wonder why so many weapons are being represented as cubes these days? I also wonder it there's some connection between the squiggly stuff seeping out of the cube is connection in some way to what Prometheus reclines on.
My final conjecture for the moment is whether the young, Swahili-speaking girl who emerges from the jeep's boot and pulls herself out from under her two dead friends in 'The Murderer' might be a version of Pandora whose story is not unconnected with Prometheus' (she ends up marrying his brother, Epimetheus in spite of Prometheus' warnings - hilariously the latter means forethought while the former means afterthought or hindsight!) because she's the one with that box and that box looks pretty lethal.
It's reflected in the square of paper, rotated 45 degrees and inserted between the comic's staples, because Anders simply cannot stop himself when it comes to design. And this is a lavish production, slightly larger than A4 with a thick, cardstock cover and French flaps. Each page of Prometheus' dream or possibly part-memory is framed in a dissection with yet more entrails and organs.
Anders will be sending us the second instalment shortly.