The ancient world is full of interesting events, historical battles, centennial disputes, and classical themes hidden between boring old history books.
If you’re keen to learn about the happenings of the ancient world in a far more captivating way, graphic novels are your best bet. Alternate realities paired with enthralling visuals highlight historical events from various perspectives.
Here are some of the best graphic novels about the ancient world that will leave you mesmerized by the past:
1. Rome West
Exploring an alternate reality of the New World, a thousand years before Columbus, Rome West offers a vivid description of world events through the eyes of a Roman family.
The engaging graphics cover themes of revolution and expansion as the Romans experience war in America. The authors make you deep dive into the ancient world through questions of ‘what if?’ as Romans change the course of America’s history, establishing a colony 1000 years before the arrival of Columbus.
2. Perpetua’s Journey
Perpetua’s journey illustrates the tale of Vibia Perpetua, an openly declaring Christian mother residing in Roman Africa, ordered to death for professing her religion. The graphic novel offers a combination of powerful themes such as feminism and Christianity.
The detailed illustrations induce visual storytelling of the ancient Phoenician city of Carthage, where Christianity gains popularity. It moves readers into reimagining life as a Christian woman in Roman North Africa in 203 CE.
If you enjoy fictional retelling of historical battles, the 300 comic series is the one for you. Adapted into the world-renowned film ‘The 300 Spartans’, this comic book depicts the Battle of Thermopylae and Sparta’s King Leonidas’ attempt to invade Persia.
With its gritty yet beautiful art, the 300 comic series engulfs the reader in the tale of Spartans as they launch themselves into battle. Hyper-violent scenes combined with well-written dialogue become enjoyable for readers interested in ancient wars.
Frank Miller’s brilliant art and storytelling make the 300 comic series one of the best graphic novels about the ancient world.
4. The Book of Genesis
5th and 6th BC
A quite literal illustration of the original ‘Book of Genesis’, this graphic novel reproduces the Bible word by word. Albeit its controversial nature, Robert Crumb manages to lend the illustrations his unique perspective on the human condition.
Readers can appreciate Crumb’s signature scratchy and heavily cross-hatched drawing style for all illustrations that provide a humanizing effect to the characters. Instead of giving the religious text a satirical touch, the comics are a must-read, honest and genuine interpretation of the Bible.
5. The Pack
The Pack is intense and full of action as it tells the story of two Nubian slave assassins in Ancient Egypt assigned to kill Pharaoh Seti of the Southern Kingdom. Their trials and tribulations are portrayed in a unique painterly style.
The author uses a combination of visual and verbal, including Egyptian hieroglyphs, to add variety and a nice ancient touch to the story. Instead of whitewashing the tale, the protagonists are shown to be dark-skinned Africans which adds even more dimension.
The Pack will transport you to an Ancient Egyptian Tale you won’t forget soon!
6. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
In this action-packed, time-spanning graphic novel, Bruce Wayne finds himself at the dawn of history, fighting evil cavemen through the power of his famous utility belt. As he becomes engrossed in battle, he is transported first to Puritan times and then to the 18th Century.
The comics follow the superhero across different ancient time zones as he builds himself an identity and fights crime. The time-traveling Bruce Wayne is featured in the spotlight through a signature superhero style.
7. Batman Ninja
This animated feature places the Dark Knight in feudal Japan, where the hero’s worst enemies take the form of feudal lords. Combining the Hero vs. Villain action with an ancient setting, Batman Ninja is one of the finest renditions in the Batman series.
Incorporating an anime style into the visuals, the story becomes even more interesting for fans. This animation imparts a unique touch to the Batman franchise, capturing the heroic nature of Batman within a land ruled by sword-yielding Samurais and Ninjas as assassins.
The ancient world is filled with fascinating events waiting to be discovered. All of these amazing graphic novels are a must-read to dive into history.
Additionally, you can also check out History Adventure’s Chrome browser web app, Global Pandemics: Plague of Athens, which tells the story of Nikos of Athens, a physician during the Plague of Athens, 429 BCE, who struggles to treat the multitude who fall ill during this world-upending ordeal, causing him to question everything he holds dear, from his faith in Apollo, healer under the gods, to the meaning of his Hippocratic Oath, and what is truly at stake in medical ethics.
Make sure to add these best graphic novels about the ancient world to your reading list and get enlightened about history in a captivating and exciting way.