Kathryn Hemmann’s Review of Second Quest, A Graphic Novel Based on the Legend of Zelda

Kathryn Hemmann, who teaches classes on Japanese literature, cinema, and popular culture at George Mason University, recently reviewed Second Quest, a graphic novel by David Hellman and Tevis Thompson based on the legend of Zelda, which has a loyal following among video gamers, and published by Fangamer in 2015. David is the son of Debbie and Jesse Hellman, friends and neighbors of ours in Baltimore. Given my age (I am of the Baby Boomer generation), you will not be surprised to learn that I am new to the world of video gaming and graphic novels. The only other graphic novel I’ve read was one that appeared in the New Yorker magazine, and truth be told, it didn’t appeal to me because the story line made no sense to me. Hemmann’s review of Second Quest, however, presents it as a nuanced exposition of a world that to me mirrors our own, albeit evolving, world, in which one’s personal quest for growth can be shackled by society’s expectations. Add to this, protagonist Azalea’s plight as a woman exploring places forbidden to females and you have a story that goes right to the heart of gender politics both in our real world and in the world of video gaming, which has focused on a young male audience to the exclusion of young females looking for strong role models. Hemmann also strongly endorses the artistic approach of David Hellman, but I’m not going to give too much away here. Read the review below and decide for yourself. As for this Baby Boomer, I am ordering Second Quest as soon as I finish writing this introduction.

Contemporary Japanese Literature

Second Quest

Title: Second Quest
Artist: David Hellman
Author: Tevis Thompson
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Fangamer
Pages: 120

Second Quest is a beautifully drawn comic that reimagines the Zelda mythos and explores just how bizarre it is that the Hylians consider themselves to be “the chosen people” who need to be “protected” from other races. What was Ganon really trying to do? Did Zelda really need to be rescued? Why is Link valorized for running around with a sword and smashing everything he encounters? What sort of cultural legacy does this create, and who suffers when outsiders are removed from historical narratives?

Of course, The Legend of Zelda is a keystone franchise of the global game industry, and licensing it is not cheap or easy, so all of the serial numbers have been filed off in David Hellman and Tevis Thompson’s interpretation. What this means is that Second Quest is accessible to…

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About jsherwin2013

Jennie has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling. She is the author of Intentional Healing: One Woman’s Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses and is a contributing writer to Conscious Life News. She has been a teacher of English on the junior high school and senior high school levels, as well as a writer and editor in the field of public health. She has mentored writers and editors. She is certified in Reiki I and II and has studied energy therapies at A Healing Place in Richardson, Texas, working under the direction of Deborah Singleton and her healing team. Jennie also acknowledges the guidance of Christine Gregg, Australian spirit reader and healer, and Maya Page, intuitive healer, Reiki Master, and VortexHealing® practitioner, now retired. Jennie lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Roger, a retired physician and epidemiologist. They provide editorial services to university researchers in the fields of medicine and public health. Her son, Colin, lives and works in New York City with his wife, Colleen.

2 responses to “Kathryn Hemmann’s Review of Second Quest, A Graphic Novel Based on the Legend of Zelda”

  1. Natacha Guyot says :

    I never played the Legend of Zelda games (though am very loosely familiar with them because my best friend during my teenage years loved the franchise). I find it interesting how they are continuing to explore the universe and having a female protagonist in this graphic novel is a great approach.

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