cover image The Last Count of Monte Cristo

The Last Count of Monte Cristo

Ayize Jama-Everett and Tristan Roach. Megascope, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4550-8

Jama-Everett (The Liminal People series) and Roach (the Spirit Bear series) reinvigorate Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 revenge tale with an Afro-futuristic slant in this masterful outing. Shackled to a breaking wheel and tortured with leeches, young sailor Quabbinah Dantes relives his recent past as first mate of the bonded ship Pharaon and fiancé to the winsome Jaya. Flashbacks reveal that jealousy caused Dantes’s former friends and crewmates to conspire against him, setting him up for a charge of sedition and imprisonment in Majumba Ya Yew, or “The Castle of Yew.” The core story follows the original’s plot: Dantes becomes proficient in mind, body, and spirit under the guidance of fellow prisoner and philosopher Mufti Hajim, then escapes and remakes himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, dead set on vengeance. Vibrant detailed sequences and dense backstory conjure an alluring world dominated by technology and plagued by ecological collapse. It’s an explosive, bewitching adaptation, layered with cunning plot twists and slick characterizations. Roach’s stylish artwork and sharp color choices build drama and flair, with scenes seeming to curl and ricochet off the page. This feels big-screen ready. (Apr.)