Lizzy Bennet, Comic Book Heroine?


I’m not the kind of Jane Austen fan who can quote passages of Mansfield Park or rattle off a list of the author’s heroines ranked in order of personal preference. Although I do know if I was making that list, Pride and Prejudice‘s Elizabeth Bennet would near the top, which is why the following news, courtesy of The Seattle Times, made my jaw hit the keyboard.

“The first issue comes out on April 1, and it may sound like an April Fool’s joke, but it’s for real: a five-part Marvel Comics adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice.”

And this is only a little over a month after that whole zombie version of the book caused a viral sensation. Not to channel Chris Crocker, but can people just leave Jane Austen alone? It’s like when they decided to remake the BBC version of P&P. Do I like the Keira Knightley version? Sure, it’s OK. But nothing can compare to the thrill that a 15-year-old me got out of watching a wet Colin Firth come striding out of the lake in his dripping undergarments. Those VHS tapes are one of the only reasons why I still own a VCR. Magic.

But at least Hollywood’s take on Austen was fairly faithful, even if Keira was way to pretty and skinny for the part. Allegedly Marvel plans on taking a “teen magazine approach” with the 5-part adaptation. Ew. Even the “author” Nancy Butler sounds unsure about the whole thing, admitting that it’s going to be tricky to translate the tale into comic book form: “This is a very wry story. Humor is a very subjective thing, and sly humor is even more subjective, and translating that into a comic sometimes doesn’t work…It’s hitting the beats. It’s like a comedy routine. There are a lot of conversational beats in Austen.” Oy. We’re picturing a cross between Monty Python and Degrassi.

Frankly, I think Austen was in better hands with the killer zombies. Your thoughts?