20 January 2011
Last updated at 13:01
Canadian writers Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery's controversial comic - Kill Shakespeare - pits the Bard's greatest heroes against his most notorious villains. They spoke to the BBC about their 21st Century re-invention.
Hero Othello (left) battles with Iago after the villain flees his side to join Richard III. "We think this is a great way to spark renewed interest in the greatest writer of all time," argues McCreery.
In the play Hamlet (pictured left), he is attacked by pirates but it is never seen. "In our graphic novel you see the action, you see the pirates, you see the attack," says Del Col.
A controversial twist in the tale sees Juliet survive in Kill Shakespeare, becoming a fierce and able swordswoman. "We played the what if game," explains McCreery. "What if Juliet lived? It was natural that she became a Joan Of Arc type of character."
Lady Macbeth has an unmatched lust for power much like her character in the original William Shakespeare play. But she takes a lead role in the comic after Lord Macbeth finds himself locked in a battle with Richard III.
Richard III leads the notorious villains, which along with Lady Macbeth also include Iago, as they battle to prevent the heroes - Hamlet, Juliet, Othello and Falstaff - from embarking on a journey to find reclusive wizard William Shakespeare.
Many of the characters quote directly from the original play as Othello does here. "For those that know Shakespeare's works and his plays they can really get into it because they can spot that sort of language and spot these references," explains Del Col.
Plans are already in the pipeline to turn Kill Shakespeare into a movie. Del Col and McCreery are keen to recruit Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling to play the part of Hamlet in the film.