Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Once upon a time, Shannon and Dean Hale took a beloved fairytale character and made her into a kick-ass heroine. In this version Rapunzel grows up in a huge castle with Mother Gothel. The castle is surrounded by a huge wall, which obviously, Rapunzel cannot resist going over. On the other side of that wall she learns that Mother Gothel has been ruling with an iron fist. She also learns that her real mother is a slave of Mother Gothel’s. Rapunzel’s punishment for going over the wall is being locked away in a very tall tree in the forest. She eventually grows her hair out long enough to escape without the help of a knight or handsome prince. From there, she sets out to take down Gothel and reunite with her mother. After she gets out of the forest, the writers plunk Rapunzel down in a Wild West setting (Odd? Yes, but it really works). She gets a partner named Jack (of Jack and the Bean Stalk fame) and the two have one rollicking adventure after another on their way to liberating the kingdom.
The 2009 Eisner Award nominated graphic novel is intended for younger readers but the characterization and the creativity make it a fun read for everyone. This Rapunzel is smart, sassy and kicks some butt. It would make a fun animated film but unfortunately Disney already has a Rapunzel movie in the works titled “Tangled,” due out later this year. The Hale’s recently released a sequel of sorts named “Calamity Jack,” which brings back Jack and Rapunzel for a second go.