Jennifer's Reviews > Promethea, Vol. 1

Promethea, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
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's review
Mar 05, 2010

it was amazing
Read in March, 2010

This is amazing. I've read a lot of Alan Moore, but I hadn't gotten to this one yet, and when I finally read it I was taken by surprise. The deconstruction of story and fiction and imagination, the mixing of fantasy and myth and sci-fi -- all of that was as lovely as I would have expected from Moore. But what surprised me was the handling of the women in the story. Alan Moore's always had a... troubling relationship to female characters, I think; he draws them well, but he can never quite escape his obsessions with rape and prostitution. Here, those tropes are present, but they don't have the same impact because almost every character in the story is female, not just one or two. From all the former Prometheas to the protagonist, Sophie, and her best friend, the characters represent a wide swath of humanity, and none can be said to stand for "all women"; none is representative of all stereotypes. Yet Promethea as a concept IS all women, a force of myth to be reckoned with, and there's no doubt as to her power and influence.

That's not to say there aren't problems. I'm going to give the book the benefit of the doubt that the running gag about the mayor with multiple personalities will eventually amount to something, but for now it just seems like unnecessary mockery of the mentally ill. It's mean-spirited in the same way some of the gags about aspects of modern pop culture are, and holier-than-thou scorn of the masses is a bit of a turnoff for me. But the rest is so brilliant and well-executed that I can't really complain, and I'm eager to start book 2.
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