The Last Count of Monte Cristo
An Afrofuturist retelling of Alexandre Dumas’s classic 19th century novel The Count of Monte Cristo
The Last Count of Monte Cristo is a bold retelling of Alexandre Dumas’s classic tale of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption. This speculative update pushes the narrative into a future hundreds of years after the polar ice caps have melted and submerged our planet into a new era of technology and culture. In this futuristic reinterpretation, author Ayize Jama-Everett and illustrator Tristan Roach revisit the original inspiration of The Count of Monte Cristo—Alexandre Dumas’s own father. A greatly respected general during the French Revolution, Dumas was one of the highest-ranking officers of African descent in a Western army in history. Like the protagonist of his son’s story, General Dumas was betrayed and spent years in prison before getting a chance to return to his beloved France. The Last Count of Monte Cristo is a radical and powerful graphic novel update that reclaims the cultural heritage of Dumas’s tale and suggests the terrible future that could threaten the human race if we continue to destroy our planet.
Jama-Everett (The Liminal People series) and Roach (the Spirit Bear series) reinvigorate Alexandre Dumas's 1844 revenge tale with an Afro-futuristic slant in this masterful outing. Shackled to a breaking wheel and tortured with leeches, young sailor Quabbinah Dantes relives his recent past as first mate of the bonded ship Pharaon and fiancé to the winsome Jaya. Flashbacks reveal that jealousy caused Dantes's former friends and crewmates to conspire against him, setting him up for a charge of sedition and imprisonment in Majumba Ya Yew, or "The Castle of Yew." The core story follows the original's plot: Dantes becomes proficient in mind, body, and spirit under the guidance of fellow prisoner and philosopher Mufti Hajim, then escapes and remakes himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, dead set on vengeance. Vibrant detailed sequences and dense backstory conjure an alluring world dominated by technology and plagued by ecological collapse. It's an explosive, bewitching adaptation, layered with cunning plot twists and slick characterizations. Roach's stylish artwork and sharp color choices build drama and flair, with scenes seeming to curl and ricochet off the page. This feels big-screen ready.