4. Comics and Manga, 4.1 Comics, Alexander - Fiction Book, Reviews

English Comic Review: “Alessandro Magno” by David Goy, Luca Blengino, Antonio Palma, Paulin Ismard

Recensione in Italiano: QUI.

Good morning everyone, thanks to be here on Alessandro III di Macedonia- your source about Alexander the Great! I read the comic released with Mondadori Comics in the Historica Biografie series (number 18) and I’m talking about:

“Alessandro Magno” original title: Alexandre le Grand

by David Goy (Script), Luca Blengino (Script, Paulin Ismard (Historical Advice), Antonio Palma (Drawings), Flavio Dispenza (Colors), Roberta Ceccotti (Translator)

Published in Italy by: Mondadori

And I have to say it surprised me: keep reading to learn more 🙂

Alexander III of Macedonia, known as Alexander the Great, was a born conqueror, a brilliant strategist, a king of divine origins… The superlatives are never too many to designate those who have transformed a small kingdom on the northern outskirts of Greece into more great empire that the world has known. He had a boundless ambition, marked by the desire to unite the Greek world and the Persian civilization. But it was an illusory aspiration because, like all exceptional men, Alexander the Great was as much admired as feared. What lies behind the legend?


1 and a half star.

Reading time: 14th dicember 2018.

Reading that disappointed me because it’s yet another case of exploitation of the name that appears on the cover: “Alexander the Great”. There’s nothing of Great here and there is very little of Alexander.

The story is told in flashbacks by the scribe Spyros and the Macedonian soldier Artemas and the trick to tell about Alexander’s exploits is that the two meet after years and Spyros tries to convince Artemas that Alexander was a true visionary and not yet another out of their minds as the soldier believes. In doing so, however, the story turns out to be too broken, there is no solution of continuity: we pass from one event to another, skipping entire parts of the story and then turning back to tell other facts; Alexander’s personality should come out of a single speech he made to the troops but it is not enough; Alexander’s childhood is not mentioned in the slightest, not even by his generals. The death of Hephaestion is “put there” and Alexander emerges as an alcoholic whimper. The real protagonists of this comic are the two strangers and not Alexander.

I found the final dossier that explains the historical facts a little more complete. But at the end of this dossier I read that they wanted to give a bold explanation of what happened on the banks of the Hydaspes and I noticed that this audacity also used it at the entrance of Alexander to Babylon. Then I ask myself: if the major ancient and contemporary historians tell the story in a certain way, why propose new visions that risk very much not being truthful? To shuffle the cards a bit and create something new and different? Ok, but they can do it on minor episodes, not in these cases.

Furthermore, in the reference bibliography only three works by Pierre Briant are cited: male. Ok, he’s one of the greatest french scholars on Alexander, but he’s not the ONLY one! Who inherited this audacity from Briant? I don’t know because I haven’t read anything of his yet, but I’ll keep this in mind when I read it!

The only positive (alas) of this volume is that the drawings are very beautiful.

If you don’t know Alexander, don’t find out with this comic book, because children’s books are better than this. If you know him don’t expect anything in particular because it’s a short reading, which is not passionate and which doesn’t make you wish it had been longer. Before reading it, I thought that 56 pages were too few, but for good reason they were never.


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