When I first read Neil Gaiman’s The Last Temptation I was barely out of braces. I didn’t understand the wonders of Alice Cooper’s showmanship or the bloody mysticism of the Grand Guginol. Instead, I flipped through the pages for a story of a boy trapped in a world of theater that only he can see; a teenager struggling to free himself and reach adulthood. Now, years later Dynamite releases the Neil Gaiman’s The Last Temptation 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition .
Stephen is a teenage boy like so many others. Teased by his friends for being afraid, Stephen goes inside a creep theater after being invited by the Showman. The Showman is a dead ringer for Alice Cooper. Stephen witnesses a show of trapped spirits who show him the horrors of a possible adult hood. The Showman tells Stephen he should stay, inviting him to join the show. Stephen declines and is instead haunted by the Showman through his normal life. The teenagers works to unravel the mystery of the ghostly theater and free himself from the control of The Showman.
Neil Gaiman’s voice is strong in The Last Temptation. His now signature style can be seen weaving in and out of the story. The book also includes the original script including notes and artwork. The Last Temptation is a delight. I’m grateful a new generation will get to delight in this graphic novel.
Neil Gaiman’s The Last Temptation 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available November 11, 2014.