Anamaria Falcone ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet is a tale that no one who has passed freshman English has been able to avoid. Everyone knows the old story: the Montagues and Capulets hate each other, but their children Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love, and die together in what is considered to be the world’s most tragic romance — next to Jack and Rose’s in James Cameron’s Titanic. It’s a story that has been retold countless times in various mediums, but EMET Comics‘ Romeo & Juliet and Guns tells the story in a more modern and diverse manner, making this a reboot worth reading.
In this modern day version of the story, the Capulets and the Montoyas are enemy assassins sworn to hate each other due to the death of Juliet “Jo” Capulet’s father by the Montoya’s hands. Jo is raised by her mother to kill Montoyas with no mercy. On a mission to kill Roman Montoya, the eldest Montoya son, Jo is faced with trouble when she can’t bring herself to pull the trigger on him. Due to an accident while they fought, the two find themselves trapped in close quarters beneath a crumbled building. Hatred however soon turns to passion, making it difficult for them to part ways when they’re captured and sent in for questioning by the police.
Writer and creator Emily Dell made a bold decision to change the ethnicities of these families in a manner that isn’t completely in the reader’s face, meaning their racial backgrounds aren’t the only thing to their characters. The integration of Hispanic and Asian culture into this classic story makes it more modern considering that society is more diverse in America than it’s ever been. Artist Mollie Helms sharply illustrates the comic in a manner that intensifies the stakes between these feuding families. In addition, the behind the scenes of this comic feature a team devised of mostly women from various backgrounds, going with EMET Comics mission statement to bring more women into the world of comic books since it’s an enterprise still heavily dominated by men.
This new take on the Shakespearean classic is definitely worth the read for any comic fan who enjoys violent, gritty, and sexy romances with complex characters. So far only one issue has been released, but Romeo & Juliet and Guns is off to an excellent start.
Romeo & Juliet and Guns is published by EMET Comics for the price of $4.99 for digital or print.
Get a sneak peek of Romeo & Juliet and Guns #1 below: