4.18.2010

Camelot 3000 / Deluxe Edition : 4 of 5

Camelot 3000, Deluxe EditionBack in the early 80s when I was buying comics like crazy, I remember discovering Camelot 3000 and getting excited about the idea of combining King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with science fiction action, so I looked forward to every issue. One day I was reading it in my high school English class, and my teacher was so intrigued by the concept (because of the King Arthur legend) that she gave me extra credit to loan her my comics and discuss them! I hadn't really thought about this series for years, but one of my Christmas presents was this beautiful hardback edition of all 12 issues, and I had a wonderful nostalgic time reading it again. The plot is really amazing, hinging on the legend that King Arthur will return at the time of England's greatest need, which just happens to be during an alien invasion! After traveling to Stonehenge to get Merlin, the next task is to awaken the major knights from their reincarnated state, which has some interesting twists, the most famous of which is that Sir Tristan has been reincarnated as a woman! This gets into some steamy scenes with Isolde (which were really controversial for a comic book in the 80s), but provides some great internal conflict and character struggles. Everything else you can imagine from the King Arthur mythos takes place: Guinevere cheats with Lancelot, Morgan Le Fay and Mordred play the part of the forces of evil, and there's even a quest for the Holy Grail (which seems way too easy, but some of the plotlines come across as condensed to fit into the limited number of issues). The artwork is incredibly detailed and beautiful in a kind of a Prince Valiant style, although the Arthurian characters look much cooler than anything futuristic (modern vehicles and especially costumes have some ridiculous designs). Camelot 3000 is a wonderfully creative and exciting comic book experience (I'm kind of amazed it hasn't been made into a movie yet), and I'm so glad that classics like this are available in book editions that I can collect and enjoy again and again!