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Kill the Minotaur: The Birth of A Hero, The Death of A Monster [Feature]

feature by Andrea Towers, originally published in IMAGE+ #12

If there’s a way to reinvent a classic mythological story, you can bet that someone will figure out a way to do it. The next big thing to come from Skybound Entertainment is a series called KILL THE MINOTAUR. Written by Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa (Red Dead Redemption), drawn by Lukas Ketner (WITCH DOCTOR), and colored by Jean-Francois Beaulieu on covers, the series takes on the tale of the well-known beast and turns it on its head by opening a chasm in which we get to view a story of hope, heroism, and adventure.

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And so, we have Theseus. He’s told he can be a hero, and like many protagonists, he wants to be a hero. But Theseus is the type of hero who is brash, who acts before he thinks, and who has no problem parading around Athens as a savior. When Crete’s armies come to his city to gather “sacrifices” so they can pay tribute to King Minos, Theseus rises up and fights back, setting out on a “secret” mission to Crete under the impression he can easily kill King Minos. Alas, Theseus soon learns that his trip overseas is going to be more intense than he bargained for—and killing King Minos? It’s not going to be so easy after all.

It’s not necessarily the hero story Theseus signed up for. But it provides us with a classic David vs. Goliath tale, and it’s exactly the type of story that we should expect from Pasetto & Cantamessa. The writers are masters of character-driven story, having scripted and directed the thriller film Air back in 2015. Additionally, their video game background means that they know how to weave exciting tales, but keep us involved in the action by giving us characters and journeys to care about. Make no mistake: KILL THE MINOTAUR is the story about a monster—a terrible, blood-thirsty monster whose blood drenches the pages of this comic in a beautifully artistic and stark way that Ketner accomplishes with aplomb. Although the monster looms powerfully over every panel, shadowing the characters as they fight, argue, and attempt to escape their fate, you never forget that this is a story about a man who just wants to be a hero...and will do anything to save himself.

Theseus is surrounded by help that he doesn’t want, because he thinks that he can be a hero all on his own. It’s a story that we relate to, because so often, we think of ourselves as the greatest authority in a situation that we’re dedicated to. We don’t want outside help. We don't want to risk other people’s lives. But Theseus needs help, and he needs other people to step forward, because he can’t do it alone. 

This story isn’t just about a prince looking for glory. This is a story of human conflict, and although we look at the minotaur as something terrifying, we also see the creature as something to humble Theseus as he continues on his journey. And here's a secret: Theseus breaks easily and early, especially once he realizes there’s no heroism in dying in a situation he can’t get out of. Still, it doesn’t stop us from feeling for the prince, who is trying to balance his personality with very real fear.

KILL THE MINOTAUR promises to offer new and exciting stories about the feared mythological beast, opening our eyes to a new vision of storytelling. But it also promises to open our eyes to the journey of a human heart in a world where all the odds are stacked against him. It’s not a tale to miss.

KILL THE MINOTAUR #1 arrives 6/14 and is available for preorder now.

Andrea Towers is an entertainment writer based in New York, whose work has appeared in Variety, Paste Magazine, Marvel.com, and more. Previously, she covered comics for Entertainment Weekly and EW.com. IMAGE+ is an award-winning monthly comics magazine that's packed with interviews, essays, and features about all your favorite Image comics and your first look at upcoming releases.

Permalink: https://imagecomics.com/features/kill-the-minotaur-the-birth-of-a-hero-the-death-of-a-monster-feature

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