Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prince of Persia GN

Jordan Mechner, A.B. Sina, LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland
I've never played the video game, but I decided to give the graphic novel, flushing out the video game franchise Prince of Persia, a try. The creator of the Prince of Persia video games himself, Jordan Mechner, is involved in the project, with A.B. Sina (an Iranian poet) writing, and the art team of Pham and Puvilland illustrating. The first print run of the book is 125,000 copies, and it's sure to be a success with the film starring Jake Gyllenhaal coming out in Spring 2009 and foreign licenses already snatched up to publish the book overseas.
I was pretty underwhelmed by the graphic novel. I did like the art throughout, but the story didn't offer much to engage the reader. Sina attempted to lay out an epic story of a prince rising, with mystical interventions in his behalf, but in the end, the characters were utterly one-dimensional, attempting to invoke archetypes of characters we've seen a million times before (a princess sneaks away from the castle to hang with the rebels and a certain dreamy boy - reminds of a certain Disney character named after a night-blooming flower - I think she's even called a street rat at one point, like other characters in....yeah, in Aladdin.) and offering events, while based in mythology, that were hardly unique (hmmm...all children born during a certain night are killed to prevent him from leading the people, but one is hidden and survives, but returns to fulfill his destiney! Haven't seen that one before...). I will give Prince of Persia that it was paced well, but beyond the artwork, this book is dull and doesn't bring a thing of interest to the table. People die, people fight back, yadda yadda. Skip this uninspired story and play the video game.

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