A Legend of Africa

by Will Eisner
(NBM, 2003)

In his mid-80s, comics pioneer Will Eisner has turned to adaptations of novels, short stories and folk tales. Sundiata adapts the legend of a powerful and magic African tyrant, Sumanguru, whose oppression of his countrymen leads to a regrettably predictable result.

Eisner's art and visual storytelling remain flawless, but there are some uncharacteristic blemishes in the plot of Sundiata. Sumanguru's fatal weakness is not foreshadowed and, when revealed, feels like a cheat. In addition, Eisner's ending is a traditional one for folktales and leaves the reader unsatisfied.

Among Eisner's lesser works, Sundiata is recommended to those who love this legendary comics illustrator.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 9 August 2003

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