cover image Count


Ibrahim Moustafa. Humanoids, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-64337-634-9

The Count of Monte Cristo duels with cyborg assassins, sky pirates, and robot soldiers in this kinetic if flawed, sci-fi tinged take on Alexandre Dumas’s revenge saga. Moustafa (High Crimes) infuses a palpable sense of excitement as characters bounce off air ships, duel with pirates, and engage in high speed sword fights and aerial pursuits. The cinematic artwork unreels some excellent action choreography, but the drama and suspense of the hero encircling his prey is shortchanged, and the worldbuilding lackluster. As in Dumas’s original novel, the young Count is incarcerated and trained, escapes, and acquires a great fortune, which he uses as the engine for his vengeance. But narrative intrigue takes a backseat to the action—this retelling foregoes all of the maneuvering, and the Count’s revenge plot boils down to stabbing all the bad guys. In one of the more effective sequences at integrating sci-fi elements, the Count realizes that his wife, assumed dead, has in fact been reprogrammed and rebuilt as an assassin cyborg—but the initial shock doesn’t last long. There’s ample fun for fans of fast-paced action and adventure, but the deeper themes of the classic tale are rather more abridged than reimagined. [em](Mar.) [/em]