Graphic novel ‘Haven of Dante’ takes new spin on classic tale Dante’s ‘Inferno’

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“Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”

Dante’s Inferno reshaped the way the world sees Hell, but more than that, it restructured the way we write about it. Through the words that were written by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy, avid readers across time and space have spent lifetimes closely scrutinizing and examining his work, not to find faults, but to find revelations to the mysteries of the vast beyond. Many people have even gained inspiration from it, creating video games, whole new stories, even films, and have given their best homage to the epic poem. Leonardo Ramirez has done just that, but in a different light: instead of creating an inspired piece, he has actually created a tale that continues the lineage of Dante, and through this, has birthed a new hero of our age in his graphic novel, Haven of Dante.

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The story encompasses the journey of Haven Dante, a young woman about to graduate high school, but not before she tragically loses her mother. Through the pain and sadness, Haven musters the courage to stay with her grandmother and her grandmother’s husband, but in the course of the night, something horrible happens to Haven. After telling her father what had happened, he decides to confront the man who hurt his daughter. During the course of the altercation, however, unbeknownst to either of them, her father is found with the man’s limp dead body in his arms. Now Haven’s father is sent to prison, and Haven will have to stay with a friend. Unfortunately, Haven can’t catch a break and ends up getting attacked by something other-worldly.  She is then rescued by an Angel and is delivered to Rose, an elderly woman who cares for her. After being in a coma for 2 years, Haven soon finds that she has powers through the lineage of her ancestors and that Hell is not happy about it. It is in the fight against the powers of Darkness that Haven finds her true strength and the will to do what is right.

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The graphic novel, illustrated by Davy Fisher, creates a stunning world where the evil of this world manifest themselves and control many of the world’s most powerful people, but not without the say of the Dante family. Most people would say that the style of illustration is a bit underwhelming, but I think the stylistic approach Fisher took in illustrating the pages actually fit the type of story being created. As though the graphic novel was actually a part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, the pages have a weathered look to them, as though the story, itself, went through Hell to get to us. The large lines and rough sketches of the characters create a sense of an old Renaissance vibe. I totally loved it.

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The story line itself was good, even though a few parts did seem to feel like I was missing bits of information to grasp the whole scene. I loved the direction of the story, as a continuation of Inferno, breathing life into the Dante lineage, and making them heroes of old. Seeing Haven face the different demons and minions as she treks the underworld to find her mother feel like she was guided by Dante, himself, as the plot evolves from where we left off with Dante and continued forward with Haven. I found myself engrossed in the idea of the Aristocracy, an evil-induced organization that is hellbent -no pun intended- in destroying the Dante family. The idea that you realize how deeply ingrained they are in our world, and our world leaders, gives gravitas to how far they’re willing to go to take out Haven and her family. As I said, however, there were a few small parts of the novel that did have a slight feeling that I missed something, or that I hadn’t fully understood the scene, but it was very minimal.

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Overall, I feel Haven of Dante gives a fresh perspective on Dante’s expedition deep into the nine circles of Hell, and thus, creates a hero, or a lineage of heroes that is, many people can understand. The depth this character holds, being a daughter of Dante Alighieri, carries with it more than just mere literary history, but a history that spans across many forms of art, from paintings to comics. The structure of the book and its illustrations are well done, and creatively illustrated, allowing for the demographic for fans to be wide and vast. I’m interested in seeing what else this creative team have in store, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Haven and the rest of her journey that lay before her.

If you’re interested in great stories such as this, and would like to read this great tale, you can purchase a copy over on Amazon.

Also, if you want to check out more information about the author, you can visit his site here!

 

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Eddie Villanueva Jr.
Eddie Villanueva Jr. 310 posts

A movie connoisseur of only the finest films, and an Encyclopod of geek and nerd knowledge. And if you know what an Encyclopod is, you're cool too!