Title: Rostam: Tales of the Shahnameh #1
Publisher Name: Hyperwerks
Writer: Bruce Bahamani
Art: Karl Alstaetter
5.95, 32 pages, Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP - Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.
Book 1 – Rostam: tales of the Shahnameh chronicles the popular Rostam and Sohrab story as told in the epic poem The Shahnameh (Book of Kings) by the famed Persian poet Ferdowsi. 32 pages. ISBN-10: 0-9770213-1-9
Ok, I'll admit, I'm biased. I'm a HUGE mythology buff, and the idea of reading a Persian myth I was unfamiliar with really appealed to me! So kudos right there, just for the idea.
The book itself does not disappoint. Sure there is a touch of choppiness to the pacing, but I think that has more to do with trying to adapt an excerpt from an Epic Poem into a 32 page comic than anything else.
The story, like any good heroic myth, is tragic. The meeting of two opponents, neither aware that they are also father and son. Bahmani does a good job of bringing the characters to life and making you feel for them. All the elements are there, the proud and noble warrior, the headstrong son, the petty and arrogant king. Good stuff.
Alstaetter's art is excellent, in that early image way. He handles the backgrounds, the architecture, and the elaborate costumes extremely well. While his facial expressions are great, he is a bit limited in his mouth construction. Everyone has three mouth poses, closed, gritted teeth, or gaping shout. But that's a small thing.
Jose Campos' colors are magnificent, adding depth and layers that really make the art pop.
If you like adventure, myth, and fantasy with an old world flare, I'd say check this one out.
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"