Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Borgias” as Want to Read:
The Borgias
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Borgias

(Borgia #1-4)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  290 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Alejandro Jodorowsky and Milo Manara's four-part sweeping saga of sex, blood, and religion is collected in a single edition for the first time ever, a perfect companion volume to Dark Horse's award-winning Manara Library series!
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published November 25th 2014 by Dark Horse Books (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Borgias, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Borgias

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan Philipzig
Anybody interested in a blatantly exploitative yet meticulously crafted account of Italy’s first Mafia family? Then this little comic-book saga by Chilean visionary Alejandro Jodorowsky and Italian maestro Milo Manara might be for you. Admittedly, it does not provide the most scientifically detached and reliable history lesson in the world, but it makes up for such alleged shortcomings with lots of rage and sex and blood – what’s not to like? Bottom line: sweeping and downright gorgeous traditio ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Milo Manara's art is as gorgeous as ever. His backgrounds and clothing are incredibly lush and the coloring is very nuanced and lovely. His crowd scenes contain an insane level of detail akin to a more perverted Where's Waldo page. His women are of course, absolutely gorgeous and sensual, and Manara even managed to avoid an excess of what I like to call "blow job face." There are some little niggling issues here and there, though -- Manara isn't great at drawing children, for one. There's an obv ...more
Nicko (The Cover Hoarder)
Aug 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is the last time curiosity has gotten the better of me... The only thing I can say about this mess is: WHAT. THE FUCK. DID I JUST WATCH! (Read if you prefer, but still is a graphic novel).

You know, I've an immense fascination for the Borgias since 2 years ago so I got the TV series with Jeremy Irons. I watched it, liked it (not loved it, it had some flaws it was not perfect, but it was pretty) and then I went and got more documentation about the whole Borgia family. Turns out quite a few au
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good comic book to introduce someone to the infamous Borgia family, that is if they don't mind lots of sex and violence. This also reminds me a little bit of From Hell and Lost Girls, but with easier writing.

Ever since I picked up Gregory Maguire's book Mirror Mirror, I've been obsessed about the Borgia family. I think it's my love for crime, mystery, and dysfunctional families that draws my attention. I've watch most of the Showtime show of them, so most of my knowledge of them might
Trochu mě rozladily historické nesrovnalosti... ale zase na druhou stranu je to namalovane perfektně.
Matthew Hunter
According to Jodorowsky, he intends The Borgias to be an allegory for the moral bankruptcy, inevitable decline and fall of the United States. Apparently, he needs a refresher on the how-to of allegory. Not Jodorowsky’s best effort! Manara’s illustrations shine as always, but the hypersexualized, ultra violent story content detracts from the reliable beauty of Manara’s artwork.

A challenge for readers - try not to laugh at the juvenile cut-downs scattered throughout the book. Also, take a stab at
Aug 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Το σενάριο και το σχέδιο κάνουν άκρως ελκυστική την απόλυτη απληστία - η οποία εν τέλει δεν ήταν παρά μια απεγνωσμένη προσπάθεια ελέγχου του πιο ακανόνιστου όντος, του ανθρώπου.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pure Catholic Exploitation. This is Grade+A deacdent smut with anyone that has a Sacred and Profane/heirophilia fetish. The series has chapter titles like "Blood and Power for the Pope".

It's sensationalist and blasphemous but also totally my thing. That doesn't mean its good, nor will I be giving it 5-stars. It's mostly shock value for people who don't know the lurid side of the Catholic Church. It's very theatrical. It's utterly unbelievable-- but it scratches that taboo itch well.

It's a well
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Laughingly ridiculous most of the time, this graphic novel is very loosely based on the historical Borgia family. Over the top in every way you have to take this graphic novel as it is to enjoy it at all. Most of the content of this graphic novel is simply gratuitous, seemingly for the sake of being gratuitous. For example, King Charles VIII of France did not actually die in a lava flow whilst having his way with a prostitute and why Jodorowsky had him die in such a way must mean something to hi ...more
Sensationalist, melodramatic, dark, excessively violent and sexual--but I couldn't tear my eyes away. The artwork is beautiful and the characters Jodorowsky creates (as in: this book is not historically accurate in theleast) are nearly flawless in their blind selfishness. I gave it a high rating (after about 50 pages, it was going to be 5 stars, and it got to be too much for me!) but not sure to whom I would recommend it. Definitely not for the faint or pure of heart.
Jul 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'm so torn, because this book was absolute trash. I mean...just...and not John Waters trash. Or maybe John Waters trash.

Do you like incest?

Water sports?

Rushed storytelling?


And good art?

Well, you might just like this book.

And don't get me wrong; I like trash. But I think if you're wanting something trashy and exploitive, you'd do a hell of a lot better picking up "Crying Freeman."
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stripovi1, stripovi
Priča počinje prilično dobro (prvi deo), posle potone kako sve više odlazi u najekstremnije tračeve o Bordžijama. Crtež je sasvim kul.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, read-in-2015
Nechutnější než Hra o trůny.
Alex Sarll
Jodorowsky and Manara's account of the notorious Papal dynasty is replete with the incest, poison and backstabbing you'd expect, but then manages to go far enough beyond the historical record that even I, who generally incline to believe the most interesting version of events, was shaking my head. Some of it you can excuse as secret history, as when a rival candidate for the papacy, whose powerbase is founded on his monastic catamites, is presented with a literal bag of dicks. But other bits are ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
L'arte di Manara non ha bisogno di presentazioni e quella di Jodorowsky nemmeno. Le vicende della famiglia Borgia sono qui raccontate in chiave erotica, dando per certe tutte le dicerie su quanto fosse lussuriosa e viziosa questa famiglia.
Anche troppo. D'accordo che non si legge un fumetto del genere per l'accuratezza storica o per la trama, ma ci sono dei buchi talmente macroscopici che è impossibile non rimanere straniti. Soprattutto perché sono buchi che ostacolano il lato erotico delle vice
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was drawn to this because of Milo Manara. I saw some of his art on imgur and was enthralled so I tried to find as many books he had been apart of that I could. I had heard vaguely of the Borgias before but never knew anything about them.

A part of me imagines that a lot of creative liberty took place in this book. It was certainly gratuitous, but I was in awe of the art either way. It was beautiful, especially in the contrast of the world depicted. I am interested in learning more about the Bor
Beautifully drawn and borderline pornographic; historical and not quite historically accurate (though in some ways likely more so than the HBO series, particularly in having the right number of Borgia siblings). More or less what one might expect out of AJ, though perhaps with fewer amputees and the like. I wouldn't exactly recommend it for inclusion in a "Lives of the Gnostic Saints" volume, though.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Manara, shock value and hyper erotic characters. There is a decent plot but it's burried under a ton of exaggeration. Everyone is mean, evil, and goodness never prevails. If you are in a mood for evil jerks having their way, be my guest. If you are offended by blasphemies and immorality, don't bother. It's nothing deep either way. At least the artwork is fantastic.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing artwork, poor story
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has beautiful and detailed art and a compelling story but there's a reason why I can only give it three stars. I'm not a squeamish or prudish person but there does come a point when there's too much sex and violence. On nearly every page someone is either screwing or killing (sometimes both at the same time) and it kind of gets in the way of the story in certain parts. Then again, maybe that is the story. The Borgias were supposed to be a depraved power hungry family after all (though ...more
Russell Grant
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I really enjoyed this one. After reading nearly all of the previous Dark Horse collections of Manara's work, I think this one holds up the best. The writing is tight and Manara's art perfectly captures the sex and violence of the story. I have no idea how historically accurate it is, I can only vouch that it's a scorching read and one of Manara's better works.
Amanda Kihlström
Only good thing about it is Manaras illustrations which are extraordinary. Other than that it's weird dialouges and laughable writing. It’s not even trying to be historically accurate. 2 stars for the illustrations and the over-exaggerated violence, which was a bit of fun at least.
Simon Chadwick
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Vatican has seen many lamentable moments in its long history, with a particular period when some pretty despicable figures pushed their way to the front of the queue to become Pope. The Borgias family, and in particular Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI), are thought to be some of the worst. Historians now challenge some of the more outrageous things that are attributed to them, but that still leaves plenty of debauchery, incestuous relationships, profiteering and murder.

To be clear Jodorows
Two words to describe this graphic novel--"hot mess"!

First, let's give credit to Milo Manara's wondrous and very erotic illustrations. Having encountered a number of his illustrations in other graphic novels, I knew what to expect and was not shocked by the amount of nudity or sexual themes on display.

However, the main issue with this novel is the poor storytelling by Jodorwosky. I have no problems with authors wanting to change timelines and mixed up characters for the sake of their historical
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Leaving aside the quality of the illustration-- which is exceptional, even by Manara's high standards-- it's not always easy to know what to make of this book. The storytelling is brisk and engaging, one might even say pandering, so easily and perhaps eagerly it slips over the line into high-class soap opera and elegant soft porn. On the other hand, knowing what we do about the brutal violence of the times, and particularly about the bottomless depravity of its rulers, it may be that "The Borgia ...more
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I don't really know what to think of this one. As another reviewer put it "hot mess" describes it pretty well. Its beautifully illustrated, but that's about all it has going for it. The plot is about as thin as a bad porn movie and at times it feels like one. Its hard to find a page without some one showing something. Don't get me wrong I don't mind nudity at all and I get that they were trying to make a point about the ridiculous nature of the church at the time, but it was overkill. Definitely ...more
Leslie Jonsson
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Incredible real? Not real? Story of the Borgias, who ruled Italy with an iron fist....the most evil, perverted family that ever lived, next to Charles Manson's family. I do not know enough about the actual history to determine what was real and what was rumor in the above book, but I could not stop reading it. Beautiful writing by Jodorwsky, detailed art by Manara, and probably one of his best art works.
Jonathan Scotese
Anti-Borgia propaganda. I'm not saying they weren't bad just that their evil is so cartoonishly over the top. It feels more like a Chick tract than cartoon history of the universe, if you know what I'm saying.

The art is beautiful but often explicit, avoid reading this in public.

Also this is the English language hardback, not sure if I've selected the right version. This is the closest I saw.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Indian Summer
  • A Jew in Communist Prague: Loss of Innocence v. 1
  • Animal'z
  • Le Grand Vizir Iznogoud (Iznogoud, #1)
  • Mort Cinder
  • V for Vendetta, Vol. II of X (V for Vendetta, #2)
  • The Black Order Brigade
  • FVZA: The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency
  • A Family Matter
  • A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium: Including: Jack the Ripper, The Beast of Chicago, Fatal Bullet
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 4 (Aya, #4)
  • Le Démon de la Tour Eiffel (Adèle Blanc-Sec #2)
  • Idées noires : L'intégrale
  • Dieu, le sexe et les bretelles (Titeuf, #1)
  • The Killer, Volume One
  • 2666, Part 3: The Part about Fate
  • The Bug Boy
  • Isaac the Pirate: To Exotic Lands
Also credited as Alexandro Jodorowsky

Better known for his surreal films El Topo and The Holy Mountain filmed in the early 1970s, Alejandro Jodorowsky is also an accomplished writer of graphic novels and a psychotherapist. He developed Psychomagic, a combination of psychotherapy and shamanic magic. His fans have included John Lennon and Marilyn Manson.

Other books in the series

Borgia (4 books)
  • Borgia: Blood for the Pope (Borgia #1)
  • The Power and the Incest (Borgia #2)
  • Les Flammes du Bûcher (Borgia #3)
  • Tout est vanité (Borgia #4)