Graphic Novel Review: The Mummy: Palimpsest

For those reluctant to experience the recently released Tom Cruise action-adventure film The Mummy under Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe banner, there is perhaps a more artistic if not literary-valued piece of work being released soon from Titan Comics that just might wet your horror whistle.

The Mummy – Palimpsest
cover

The graphic novel The Mummy: Palimpsest is an action-packed Hammer Comics story by noted British writer Peter Milligan (Skin, Aliens: Sacrifice, Army of Two, Terminal Hero). To encapsulate the hauntingly visual journey, Senior Editor Martin Eden welcomes the talented artwork of Australian comic artist Ronilson Freire (The Green Hornet, The Wheel of Time, Vampirella), color provided by Ming Sen and Dijjo Lima, and lettering by Simon Bowland.

The graphic novel is a compilation of five gripping chapters spanning five separate issues released between December 2016 and April 2017.

In a twisted attempt at immortality, the Sect of Anubis come together every 34 years and drink the blood of a human sacrifice in honor of Nebetah, the Egyptian High Priestess from ages long forgotten. Halfway through the ritual, Ukranian sacrificial lamb Angel escapes into the shadows of London when the secret society known as The Pyramid Club interrupts the ceremony in an attempt to abolish the evil sect. With the help of Pyramid Club member Duncan, Angel races against time to stop her transformation into the decomposing mummy and ultimately save the rest of humanity.

According to Webster, a palimpsest is: 1:  writing material (such as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased or 2:  something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface. These definitions work both for the story’s theme as well as the body of work that made up this graphic novel. The symbolic representation of the sacrificial being may be more obvious, but when you consider the complexity of the legend and writer Milligan’s ability to bring the lore to life, Palimpsest is the perfect title for this chapter.

The Mummy: Palimpsest
page 1

The Mummy: Palimpsest
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As a bonus feature after the comic’s conclusion, Hammer’s noted historian Marcus Hearn takes readers on an extended journey with in-depth essays on the origin and production of the Mummy legend franchise and how Hammer Films’ re-animated the monster as well as the cultural influence the legend had on fandom

Whether you are a comic book enthusiast, a horror fanatic, or a film buff who enjoys the historical elements of Hollywood productions, The Mummy: Palimpsest has something for everyone. Of course, the story by Peter Milligan and artwork by Ronilson Freire will make this a classic adventure in its own right, this volume is packed with enough entertainment value to keep readers busy for quite a while.

Sorry Tom Cruise.

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