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Marvel Illustrated Pride & Prejudice: beautiful take on a classic story

I admit that I’m new to graphic novels, but it’s a medium I’d like to explore more. This adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as a Marvel Illustrated classic is a beautiful take on a classic story.

Written by Nancy Butler and art by Hugo Petrus, this retelling of Pride and Prejudice brings new life and color to a beloved classic with compelling dialogue and scene-setting that illustrates the societal and familial obligations that propel this story.

The cover of the hardback graphic novel is formatted like a magazine with headlines like “Bingleys Bring Bling to Britain” and “How to cure your boy-crazy sisters.” Originally released in five installments, all are compiled in this hardback edition to tell the complete story.

Cover image of Marvel Comic's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with an illustrated image of a young woman surrounded by magazine headlines.

From the initial meeting of the Bennetts and Bingley (+ Darcy) at the ball to Mr.Collin’s follies and Lydia’s deceptions, this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice takes us through all the memorable scenes with carefully selected dialogue and beautiful penciled drawings.

The visual medium of a graphic novel adds another layer of depth to the Austen story. It brings you in closer to each scene as you see not only the macro level actions but zoom in on those microexpressions and movements that speak to a character’s state—Georgiana Darcy’s smile brightening as her brother enters a room, Lizzy’s hand clenching as she tries to control her temper.

The one drawback I saw was that some dialogue seemed too lengthy for individual frames, and would have been better suited to a more drawn out method.

Overall, this Marvel comic adaptation of a beloved classic is perfect for fans of the book and for Austen newbies. It’s a quick way to get a feel for Austen’s storytelling and themes before making a longer commitment with one of her full books, and Butler and Petrus present a satisfying and complete depiction of Pride and Prejudice.

4 out of 5 stars.