In a word: stunning. In a few more words: Alan Moore and J.H Williams III have done it again. The continuing adventures of Sophie Bangs/Promethea are again a marvellous fusion of writing and artwork. Book 1 was a superb introduction and Book 2 just excels at every juncture. I must admit some of the weighty themes are slightly head-scratching inducing at times, and I do tend to re-read it simply to absorb everything. It's really unlike any other comic I've ever read and may not be to everyone's taste but is gorgeous to just look at. It also has one of the weirdest sex sessions every depicted, if that kind of thing takes your fancy. I don't know if my words of wisdom will encourage you to try Promethea at all, but it is pretty darn good. As an added recommendation try everything else you can get your hands on by Alan Moore, especially the rest of the ABC titles.
Issues ten and twelve in this collection are amazing. The conventional superhero narrative is discarded. Even panels are forgotten. You are left with pure ideas on a page (courtesy of Alan Moore) and brilliant images (thanx to the artist/s). Those two issues justify the purchace of this book.
Unfortunately, the other less revolutionary issues (or is it chapters?) are a bit of a let down. The superhero action in Promethea fails to exite as much as the psychedelic theorizing. Issue 11 in particular suffers from being between the two genius issues. It's a story about Promethea saving the world from crazy goo.
Our heroine Sophie researches a mythological figure called Promothea for her term paper and then becomes her. Features a staggering reinterpretation of the Tarot consistent with the Big Bang and evolution. Predicts that in 2017 humankind's understanding will hit saturation point and the world as we know it will end. The Apocalypse is interpreted as an epistemological and metaphysical step forward for human understanding. There's also a twelve-page tantric sex scene. Mr. Moore, you've done it again.
Sounds silly but you will have to discover this knowledge for yourself, because lets face it if you enjoyed book 1, you will have to read the second one otherwise your life will feel strangely incomplete.
Oh and just so you don't feel completly dejected by this review, I will say that the last chapter of Book 2 is rewarding enough that you will be soon hunting for Book 3.
Along with Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore is undoubtedly the best comics author currently plying his trade. While Promethea doesn't represent his best work (surely those honours go to From Hell, Watchmen and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen) it is a testament to his skill that he keeps on coming up with the goods. Writing all of Americas Best Comics himself, Moore mingles the every day with the fantastical in Promethea. While this is an excellent read, and certainly worth four stars, I wouldn't give it five at seems as though Moore isn't firing on all cylinders. What is truly excellent in the book is the sense that Promethea is truly a powerful being. A testament to the awesome art work in the book.And Moore handles youth speak excellently (as in the first book if you have read it).
I enjoyed book one immensely. I enjoyed book two even more. It's a blend of comic book story telling & revelation. I can see no comparison. Moore, Williams & Gray have created a work of art that is alive and bursting with creativity.
I'm sure others have mentioned, the final chapter in this edition is powerful stuff. Once more, you're left with this strange feeling that somehow you're becoming one with the story.
Absolutely brilliant story by Alan Moore, a perfect, beautiful guide to the outer-inner and an inspiration and journey home for dreamers and magic people the worlds over. Artwork is also completely out of this world, it is quite nearly worth your while buying this book simply for the art!