Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Speaker for the Dead - Graphic Novel

U mad, bro?

Speaker for the Dead is among my favorite novels of all time, so I jumped at the chance to buy the Marvel Comics graphic novel. It's probably considered sacrilege by the masses, those many floundering fools, but I think it surpasses Ender's Game, a phenomenal book in its own right.

The story is rich with guilt, brokenness, loss, pain, faith, longing and hope.

Andrew Wiggin, once "Ender" to all of humanity, is faced with a new challenge. Due to planet-hopping and the wonders of relativistic space flight, Andrew has seen the passage of 3,000 years while only having lived another 20 or 30 years since he saved humanity from the Bugger menace as a child. Now, a new race has killed a human and Ender rushes off to the colony world Lusitania to investigate the death and attempt to get to know the strange aliens known only as Pequininos or "piggies".

I realize that a several hundred book will have to cut content in order to meet the needs of a much smaller graphic novel, but did they have to cut out EVERYTHING?

Golly, that looks like it has lots of pages! (side note: you can buy me a signed copy of this edition and become my new best friend)
Major characters were reduced to minor rolls to leave room for Andrew to be on almost every page. He is less the star of the story, and more a force of nature that changes everything he touches by the mere fact of his existence. His friendship with the AI known only as Jane is downplayed to almost nonexistence. The early scenes in the novel when he parts ways with his sister and closest friend, Valentine, were removed completely, robbing the reader of an insight into the cost Andrew has to pay to serve a greater cause.

Novinha and her children were almost exclusively in the background, which would make future graphic novels much more difficult as Andrew begins to take more of a back seat and Miro, Jane, and others step into larger roles. The redeeming factor here is that the graphic novel has the potential to introduce a new audience to a fantastic story, and perhaps whet the appetite for the novel and its sequels.

You should read this if you are able to forgive the absence of crucial elements.

If you haven't or won't read the novel, you shouldn't read this.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on Speaker being better than Ender's game...all this time I thought I was alone.