Modern Comics

An ongoing list of comics about the medieval period and medievalisms. Do you have one to add?

  • Beowulf: Hinds; Garcia/Rubin; DC Comics Beowulf: Dragon Slayer; Graphic Universe Beowulf: Monster Slayer; Petrucha/Chamberlain; Wonder Woman: Ends of the Earth.
  • King Arthur and CamelotBlack Knight; Excalibur (Lee/Hart); Prince ValiantExcalibur X-men series; World’s FinestCamelot 3000Dracula vs. King ArthurBatman: Dark Knight of the Round TableKnights of the Living DeadArthur: King of Britain; Limke/Yeates Arthur legends.
  • FrenchThe Unwritten (‘Inside Man: The Song of Roland’); Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc; Ils ont fait l’histoireLes Reines de SangJe Suis CathareHawkwood Mercenarie de la Guerre de Cent AnsJour J (vols. 24, 25, 27); Maria the Virgin Witch; TemplarLe Trône d’ArgileMélusine, Fée Serpent.
  • SpanishCaptain Thunder (El Capitán Trueno)1212 Las Navas de Tolosa; RoncesvallesEl Cid.
  • Norse/IcelandicNorthlandersSept MissionnairesLes Voies du SeigneurThorgalWolves of OdinHammerfall; Vinland SagaRagnarBlack Road.
  • IrishAn Táin; Slàine.
  • EnglishOutlaw: The Legend of Robin HoodLe Cœur de Lion; Requiem of the Rose KingCrécyOn Dangerous Ground: Bannockburn 1314; Agincourt 1415Robin Hood Tales.
  • PersianThe Heroic Legend of Arslan.
  • Medievalisms (knights, castles, fantasy, anything that imitates or borrows from the medieval): NimonaDismal Incantation; Marcel Ruijters; Red SonjaBerserkBenign KingdomLanfeust of Troy; Spice and Wolf; ClaymoreSword of SorceryDemon KnightsThe Hedge KnightLady DeathRat QueensConan the BarbarianBatman: Knight and SquireLake of Fire; The Black Dragon; Hagar the Horrible; Kate Beaton’s history comics; The Far Side.
  • Real-life medieval locations/objects: Cloisters Museum in Nightwing; Voynich Manuscript in Black Widow and the Avengers.

Beowulf

Beowulf, written and illustrated by Gareth Hinds (2007)

Beowulf, written (in Spanish) by Santiago Garcia, illustrated by David Rubin (2013)

Beowulf: Dragon Slayer series, written by Michael Uslan, illustrated by Ricardo Villamonte (1975-1976)

Beowulf: Monster Slayer, by Paul D. Storrie and Ron Randall (2008)

Beowulf, by Stefan Petrucha and Kody Chamberlain (2007)

Beowulf features in Wonder Woman: Ends of the Earth, by Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti, and Bernard Chang (2009)

King Arthur and Camelot

Black Knight series, originally written by Stan Lee, artwork by Joe Maneely (1955-1956). According to Wikipedia, the first Black Knight (of four) was Sir Percy of Scandia, who first appeared in the Black Knight series from Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor to Marvel Comics.

Excalibur, by Tony Lee and Sam Hart (2011)

Prince Valiant series, by Hal Foster (1937-1971). The strip continues to be illustrated by other artists in half-page format.

Excalibur series, by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis (first published 1988), an X-men series devoted to the Arthurian legend

World’s Finest Comics, vol. 1 #162 (September 1966), by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and George Klein: Batman and Superman go to King Arthur’s court

Camelot 3000 series (DC Comics), by Mike Barr, Brian Bolland, Bruce Patterson, Terry Austin and Tatjana Wood (1982-1985): sci-fi King Arthur

Dracula vs. King Arthur, by Adam Beranek, Christian Beranek, Jay Fotos and Chris Moreno (2005-present)

Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table, by Bob Layton and Dick Giordano (1998-1999)

Knights of the Living Dead, by Dusty Higgins and Ron Wolfe (2011): King Arthur…and zombies!

Arthur: King of Britain, by Michael Fraley (2015)

King Arthur legends by Jeff Limke and Thomas Yeates: King Arthur: Excalibur Unsheathed (2007) and Arthur & Lancelot: The Fight for Camelot (2010)

French

The Unwritten, ‘Inside Man: The Song of Roland’, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (2010)

Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc, by Tony Lee and Sam Hart (2015)

Ils ont fait l’histoire series, published by Glénat (2014-2016)

Les Reines de Sang series, published by Delcourt (2012-2016)

Je Suis Cathare, by Makyo, Alessandro Calore, Claudia Chec & Ségolène Ferté (2007-2015)

Hawkwood: Mercenarie de la Guerre de Cent Ans, by Tommy Ohtsuka (2016)

Jour J series (vols. 24, 25, 27), published by Delcourt (2016-2017)

Maria the Virgin Witch, by Masayuki Ishikawa (2008-2015)

Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland (2013)

Le Trône d’Argile, by Nicolas Jarry and France Richemond (2006-)

Mélusine, Fée Serpent, by Didier Quella-Guyot and Sophie Balland (2000-2001)

Spanish

Captain Thunder (El Capitán Trueno), by Victor Mora Pujadas and Ambró (1956)

1212 Las Navas de Tolosa, by Jesús Cano de la Iglesia (2016)

Roncesvalles, by Antonio Hernández Palacios (1979)

El Cid, by Antonio Hernández Palacios (1971)

Norse/Icelandic

Northlanders, by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice (2008)

Sept Missionnaires, by Alain Ayroles and Luigi Critone (2008)

Les Voies du Seigneur, by Fabrice David and Jaime Calderón (2009)

Thorgal series, created by Grzegorz Rosiński and Jean Van Hamme (1977-present)

Wolves of Odin, by Grant Gould (2014)

Hammerfall, by Sylvain Runberg and Boris Talijancic (2007-2009)

Vinland Saga series, by Makoto Yukimura (2005-present)

Ragnar series, by Eduardo Coelho and Jean Ollivier (1955-1969)

Black Road series, by Brian Wood, Dave McCaig and Garry Brown (2016)

Irish

An Táin, by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh and Barry Reynolds (2006)

Slàine, by Pat Mills and Mike McMahon, first published in 1983

English

Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood, by Tony Lee, Sam Hart and Artur Fujita (2009)

Le Cœur de Lion, by Jean-Christophe Vergne (2001)

Requiem of the Rose King, by Aya Kanno (2013-present)

Crécy, by Warren Ellis, art by Raulo Cáceres, with cover art by Felipe Massafera (2007)

On Dangerous Ground: Bannockburn 1314, written by Fiona Watson, illustrated by Conor Boyle, lettered by Jim Campbell (2014)

Agincourt 1415, written by Will Gill, with a foreword by Anne Curry (2015)

Robin Hood Tales, by Frank Bolle (1956)

Persian

The Heroic Legend of Arslan, written by Yoshiki Tanaka, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano and Shinobu Tanno (1986-present)

Medievalisms (knights, castles, fantasy, etc.)

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (2015)

Dismal Incantation, by Herman Inclusus (Stuart Kolakovic). The nom de plume ‘Herman Inclusus’ the name of a 13th-century Czech monk credited with creating the Codex Gigas, the world’s largest known medieval manuscript.

Marcel Ruijters has a number of medieval-inspired comics, like HieronymusSine Qua Non and All Saints.

Red Sonja series, according to Wikipedia, was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith for Marvel Comics in 1973, partially based on a 1934 short story by Robert E. Howard. Since then the comic has been revamped by different writers and artists. The images here are from the most recent reboot by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani (2014).

Berserk, by Kentaro Miura (1989-present)

Benign Kingdom series, by several people, but the images below are by Evan Dahm (2012)

Lanfeust of Troy series, by Christophe Arleston and Didier Tarquin (1994-present)

Spice and Wolf, written by Isuna Hasekura, illustrated by Keito Koume (2007-present)

Claymore, by Norihiro Yagi (2001-2014)

Sword of Sorcery series, written by Denny O’Neil, featuring art by Howard Chaykin, Walt Simonson, and Jim Starlin (1973)

Demon Knights series, written by Paul Cornell and Robert Venditti, with art by Diogenes Neves, Michael Choi, Robson Rocha, Bernard Chang, Chad Hardin, and Phil Winslade (2011-2013)

The Hedge Knight, by George R. R. Martin, Ben Avery, and Mike S. Miller (2013)

Lady Death, by Brian Pulido, first published in 1983

Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe (2013-present)

Conan the Barbarian, by Barry Smith and John Verpoorten (1970)

Batman: Knight and Squire, by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton (2010)

Lake of Fire, by Nathan Fairbairn and Matt Smith (2016)

The Black Dragon series, by Chris Claremont and John Bolton (1985)

Hagar the Horrible, by Dik Browne (1979-1988) and Chris Browne (1989-)

Kate Beaton’s history comics, originally webcomics, now published as Hark! A Vagrant (2011) and Step Aside, Pops (2015)

Gary Larson has created a number of single-panel comic strips with Vikings for The Far Side (1980-1994).

Real-life medieval locations/objects

Nightwing Vol. 2 #141 (2008): Nightwing becomes a curator at the Cloisters Museum in NYC.

Marvel Adventures: Black Widow and the Avengers #18, by Paul Tobin, Ig Guara and Clayton Henry (2010): This issue features the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Beinecke MS 408 (Voynich Manuscript).

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14 thoughts on “Modern Comics

  1. I’ve got a few more to add to your list Hana, having spotted your post on Twitter.

    Another Spanish one, linked to “El Cid” (above), is “Roncevalles” by Antonio Hernandez Palacios. Other French examples include the series “Ils ont fait l’histoire” (Grenoble: Glénat, 2014-2016) [including volumes on Catherine de Medici and Joan of Arc]; “Les Reines de Sang” (Paris: Delcourt, 2012-2016) [including volumes on Eleanor of Aquitaine, Fredegund and Isabelle of France]; “Je Suis Cathare” (Paris: Delcourt, 2007-2015); “Hawkwood: Mercenarie de la Guerre de Cent Ans” (Charnay-lès-Mâcon: Doki-Doki, 2016). And, for some crusade stuff, Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland, “Templar” (New York: First Second, 2013).

    Lastly there are a number of issues of the French publication “Jour J” which deal with medieval topics/periods in their ‘alternate history’ format, including: “Stupor Mundi” (v. 24), “Notre-Dames de Londres” (v. 25), “La ballade des pendus” (v. 26), “Les Ombres de Constantinople” (v. 27).

    All sources I am hoping to study in some form or other…!

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  2. Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside, Pops *might* fit the medievalisms category. They are filled with nods to history, just can’t remember how far back it goes!

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  3. A couple of suggestions to add to the list (if I may!).

    To the English section could be added Warren Ellis’s “Crecy” (2007). A couple of other battle-related commemorative graphic novels have also been produced with input by historians such as Fiona Watson (“On Dangerous Ground: Bannockburn 1314”, 2014) and Anne Curry (“Agincourt 1415”, 2015).

    To the French section could be added the series “Le Trone d’Argile” by Nicolas Jarry and France Richemond, which follows the events of the fifteenth century phase of the Hunderd Years War.

    [NB. some self-promotion, but I have written something recently on “Le Trone d’Argile” and on Ellis’s “Crecy”, which should be out later this year].

    And to the Spanish section could be added the recent release of “1212 Las Navas de Tolosa” (2016), by Jesus Cano de la Iglesia.

    This is all quite exciting stuff and is an area that I myself am trying to expand into, in particular in relation to the depiction of medieval warfare in such works. I would be very interested to discuss your project further in this regard, if that would be of any interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Iain — I’ve added your suggestions to the list! If you’re ever interested in writing a blog post about comics and medieval warfare, let me know. Sounds interesting. 🙂

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      • Many thanks Hana. Would be more than happy to do a blog post. This is all a bit new for me – I usually deal with actual medieval warfare in my primary research – but I am enjoying investigating this new line of enquiry. So, any chance to write something is always welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, have a think and let me know whenever what you’re thinking of writing about. It should be something involving both comics and the Middle Ages and it should be written for a non-specialist audience, not more than 500 words. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  4. Another to include in the Irish section would be Sláine by 2000 AD. Taking many stories from Irish legend and mythology as a springboard, the series also manages to weave in Arthurian myth and the Robin Hood legend (with the help of a little time travel).

    There are many great stories, but the arc collected in Sláine: The Horned God is a particular high point.

    On another note DC did a Sci-Fi reimagining of Beowulf a few years ago in a series called Sword and Sorcery which wasn’t terrible, but sadly short-lived. A series that managed to go a little longer was one called ‘Demon Knights’ which took several immortal DC characters (such as Etrigan the Demon, Madam Xanadu and Vandal Savage) and had them team up in a mythical UK set just after the fall of Camelot.

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  5. As a European I am not surprised you missed the monumental Hammerfall Sylvain Runberg+ Boris Talijancic, Nicolas Fructus. Set during Charlemagne, a group of Norse people meet missionaries and while it sounds a lot like the TV Vikings let it be enough to remind you it was published between 2007-2009!

    The French-Belgian school of comics did not limit itself to Vikings though we have also the brilliant Ragnar (again nothing to do with the TV show as it ended in 1969 as it began in 1955.

    I could give you Les Chemins de Malefosse, the ongoing series about Alienor of Aquitaine and Isabelle of France. When it comes to Medieval, we have it up to fantastic 10thC with Aliens and Englisc men and creatures akin to werewolves!

    Feel free to contact me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Therese! With the exception of the Beowulf ones, literally all of the comics listed here are new to me, recommendations from friends and people on Twitter, and I always welcome new ones to add to the list. As you can see, I’ve added Ragnar and Hammerfall. Les Chemins de Malefosse looks a bit late to be a ‘medieval’ comic…Wikipedia says it takes place during the reign of Henri IV (1589-1610). Is that right, or am I looking at the wrong comic?

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