By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Release Date: January 02, 2019
Click here to preorder
Richard Wagner’s The Ring of Nibelung has seen countless adaptations into other forms of media over many years. The opera truly must be seen as it was this composer’s intention. To read a comic book adaptation may seem like a bad idea, but in what I enjoyed in Roy Thomas version is that it helped reignite my interest in the Nordic sagas. The art by Gil Kane was inspiring. This work was published by DC Comics in the 90s; to find it now means chancing upon a collection while at a comic book show.
In 2012, Dark Horse Comics released their own version in 2012 with P. Craig Russell handling the chores of not only the writer but also the artist. This edition has its own gentile style and modestly introduces the sagas without being too extravagant in the presentation. It collects all the single issue covers and production notes (on how he turned the opera into an illustrative work) into a 450-page book! His pencil sketches are worth noting more than the finished work–and I’m only scratching the surface. Reading this work is just as enchanting. To compress it (which can clock in at 5 hours, or 15 to detail the entire four-part saga) to a 448-page work is just as impressive.
The live performance can be daunting for the newcomer. Not everyone is into opera. To read this work in illustrative form is a great way to become familiar with the story before tackling the stage show. No matter which version I’m looking at, I feel that when I’m done, there’s no need to watch Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings again, for a while. Both share the one ring ideology and borrow from similar sources, and that’s all there is.