By Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col (writers), Andy Belanger (art), Ian Herring (colors), Chris Mowry (letters)

The Story: The (other) epic saga of Hamlet, Richard III, Lady The Scottish Play, Othello, Juliet, Iago and Shakespeare comes to a conclusion in an epic, no-holds-barred battle to determine the fate of their world.

What’s Good and SPOILER WARNING: What an amazing journey it’s been to follow Hamlet from where he fell out of his ship–and out of his own story–to this final battle and conclusion. He’s changed and grown so much over the last year that it makes me wonder what Shakespeare’s Hamlet (for this Hamlet now bears little resemblance to the fearful and indecisive prince of the play) would have done, if forced to grow up and take responsibility in this fashion. The answer to that will never be known of course, but I will quite happily accept McCreery and Del Col’s take on the question as a very worthy substitute. Watching these characters–so familiar to me and yet so different from the ones I know–come into their own over the course of this story has been an absolute joy, and the conclusion that our fair authors bring them too is fitting, satisfying, and contains just enough surprises to keep things fresh and interesting.

What’s Also Good: No real complaints. Although Andy Belanger’s artwork has been somewhat touch-and-go for me personally, I realize here, at the story’s end, that his unique style and character designs really have helped create this world and bring it to life. I can’t imagine anyone else trying to draw these characters now, and I honestly have trouble visualizing them any other way. That’s just about the highest praise I have to give.

Conclusion: Although I’m wistful, and a little saddened, by this chapter of Kill Shakespeare coming to an end (good lord we’ve had to say a lot of goodbyes this month, haven’t we?), I remain hopeful that its success will result in further explorations of this universe. The world that these three wonderfully creative artists have built together is far too rich, and far too big, for this to be the real end.

Also, can I just say that Iago’s fate might be the single most satisfying panel I have ever read in comics? I’ve always hated the fact that he never really got his comeuppance in Othello, and this more than made up for that. I confess to more than a little fangirlish cheering on that panel: “that was for Desdemona and Emelia, you bastard!”

Grade: A

-Soldierhawk [Exits, pursued by another bear]

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