Here’s another new title from AfterShock which is quietly ramping up its line with some solid books. Writer Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men, Deadpool) and artist Mirko Colak (Punisher) are teaming on Unholy Grail, a new take on the Arthurian legend that casts the defender of the realm as a bloody conqueror. Holy Galahad! Not your auntie’s Arthur.
As an amateur Arthurian scholar myself, this is a take I haven’t heard before. My guess: Morgan Le Fay is involved somehow. The art looks excellent.
“If readers are even passingly familiar with the story of King Arthur, I think they’ll enjoy this twisted, evil version of the legend,” Says Bunn. “All the familiar elements are here–Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, the Round Table, Camelot, the Sword in the Stone, Excalibur–but they are seen through a very dark and horrific lens. If readers are unfamiliar with Arthur, they can still enjoy this as a horror fantasy, and it might even open their eyes to other Arthurian legends. While this is a skewed vision, I try to stay as true to the legends as possible.”
Like many, Bunn has found the AfterShock experience to be a pleasant one. “Working with AfterShock has been great! They’ve been nothing but supportive and encouraging and enthusiastic. I’ve been talking with them since their earliest days, just waiting for the timing to be right. I’m glad that’s finally the case with ‘The Unholy Grail’.”
Deets, a Francavilla cover and a big preview below:
UNHOLY GRAIL #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Color / on sale 7.5.17
writer: Cullen Bunn
artist: Mirko Colak
letterer: Simon Bowland
cover A: Mirko Colak cover B: Francesco Francavilla
Arthur Pendragon was the king of all Britain. His story is legendary. Merlin. The Lady of the Lake. Excalibur. Camelot. The Knights of the Round Table. But these stories are bright lies painted over the truth. Here is presented the gospel of Arthur’s bloody rise to power and his unholy reign. The legend of King Arthur is not the stuff of legends, but the fuel of nightmares.
As Arthur descends into darkness, is there any lingering hope that he still might do something good?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.