First Comics; $5.95

Often adapted, Beowulf is probably the best-known epic Old English poem. The subject of multiple translations and frequent scholarly discussion, its true origins are unknown, although there is a manuscript which dates to between the years 975 and 1025.

Among the most accessible introductions to the work is the Beowulf (First Comics Graphic Novel #1) by Jerry Bingham, published in 1984 by First Comics.

Bingham, perhaps best known in comic book circles for illustrating the Batman: Son of the Demon graphic novel, wrote, illustrated, and colored this adaptation, which immediately dives into building the setting for the reader: A beast has been terrorizing the land, and to this point it seems unstoppable.

Bravery, reversal of circumstances, danger, and Bingham’s beautiful illustration and solid pacing really contribute to this comic book incarnation of the story. It remains very enjoyable after all these years.

– J.C. Vaughn