The Unwritten #44

by Tori B. on December 23, 2012

With a title like “Halfway Through the Journey”, it’s fair to say at what point in Tom Taylor’s adventure into the underworld he’s at.



Writer: Mike Carey & Peter Gross| Artist: Chris Chuckry

Cover: Yuko Shimizu| Publisher: Marvel



Even if adventures into the underworld where a young man faces harpies and three headed dogs like it’s taken straight from a Greek classics textbook aren’t your thing, The Unwritten #44 is worth the pick up just for the solid art. The writing itself is solid but what really makes The Unwritten a neat little series is the art. Even just by looking at the cover (they even managed to score a ‘Society of Illustrators Silver Medal Winner’ Yuko Shimizu to do it), great and fantastical things are to be expected, and it doesn’t disappoint.


It’s pretty much taken right from Greek myth, there’s the river Styx, and Cerberus, and harpies, and eventually Hades, but what’s great about it, is that you don’t necessarily have to be familiar with the history of it all, even to a reader who’s never learned a single iota of Greek myth, it’s just turned into a tale of great fantasy. But it’s super keen for those who are familiar with the base of it all, and being able to recognize everything is great fun. It’s lovely that this title is under Vertigo, because there are no restraints on the art, they can take their interpretation literally straight from the textbook, which for a classics fan is cool to see in a comic. The harpies look as one would expect, and while three-headed dogs don’t vary much, The Unwritten artist’s still do a fantastic job. The only exception to this would be how Hades ends up looking, but to divulge into such detail would ruin the surprise.


Beyond the art though, the story is just as great. The issue isn’t merely Tom’s adventure into the Underworld, there’s an intricacy to the entire series for those who are familiar with it. Tom’s connection to a couple of kids (Leon and Cosi) that are in the Underworld is immediately established, as well as later on the issue, it’s revealed how Tom himself may have gotten there. It’s fascinating to follow along, trying to piece everything together, all the while enjoying the great fantasy aspects of it—talking animals that travel through time and the like.


For any classic literature fan, fantasy fan, and particularly for this batch of issues, Greek mythology fan, The Unwritten is a well woven story of Tom’s adventures, that while not on same level as other comics when it comes to cliffhanger endings, it’s the tie-in as a whole that keeps a reader going.

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