The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story #1

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story #1

Writer: Vivek J. Tiwary Artist: Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Release Date: November 20, 2013 Cover Price: $19.99 Critic Reviews: 11
8.7Critic Rating
N/AUser Rating

The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles—from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of "The Man Who Made The Beatles," The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian Epstein was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town. He helped spread the Beatles’ message of love to the entire world, yet died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, consumed by staggering ambition and the endless struggles that came with it.

  • 10
    Comic Book Resources - Jim Johnson Nov 20, 2013

    Tiwary gives Epstein's final moments an almost Kubrick-esque kind of surreal quality, neither surrounded not with bright colors nor dreary grey, but almost all white, as though to signify that his life is near its end. There is a dream-like, hallucinogenic vibe throughout the sequence, with nothing really to focus on except Epstein and his final thoughts. With all of the extravagance and decadence gone, the end is a genuinely moving moment that perfectly caps off an all-but flawless chronicle of a life's story that is largely unknown. "The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story" accomplishes all of its goals: it takes the readers and Beatles fans backstage to get to know the man who made the band into a phenomenon and shows what an accomplished yet lonely man he was; it's captivating, brilliant, funny, and tragic, and it artistically captures every mood and locale associated with this era of Beatlemania. It's a must-have for Beatles fans and fans of great storytelling. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Newsarama - Erika D. Peterman Nov 20, 2013

    The Fifth Beatle might require a little more work on the part of the uninitiated, as it doesn't trade in a lot of exposition. The effort is absolutely worth it. Dare I say it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Read Full Review

  • 10
    CHUD - Jeb Delia Dec 13, 2013

    In a way, The Fifth Beatle reminds me of Fraction and Zdarsky's Sex Criminals: a story that would, on its own, be as readable and well constructed as any biography I've read recently, is elevated even higher by artwork that compels re-reading, and a reminder of the unique virtues of graphic storytelling. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Outright Geekery - Richard Wanderman Jr. Oct 4, 2016

    I cannot recommend this book high enough. To be sure, every Beatles fan will be happy with story. I think the folks who are new to the Beatles, or not really fans of the music per se, will enjoythis book. The writing and artwork play in concert togetherso well one might easily forget this is a comic book. Just like Brian Epstein averred when talking of the upcoming Sgt. Pepper's album, The Fifth Beatle will make people sit up and take notice that it is art. Read Full Review

  • 9.8
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Nov 20, 2013

    Both heartbreaking and uplifting, The Fifth Beatle not only reveals an important, unsung chapter in the history of the Beatlesbut it will inspire anyone whos ever dared to believe in a dream. Brian Epstein's story has been a long time coming, but this is so good, it's been well worth the wait. This will go down as a must read graphic novel for it's style and narrative, but also as a must read for Beatles history. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Sean Tonelli Nov 20, 2013

    Purchase: Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    AiPT! - Gregory Paul Silber Nov 20, 2013

    As for me, as questionable as The Fifth Beatle can be at times, I was immensely satisfied by the time I finished it. I didn't expect to find so many connections between Brian's struggles as a manager and my struggles as a writer. I didn't expect to gain a newfound respect for the "suits" of the music industry, so often portrayed as the villains of artistic expression. I didn't expect to feel so moved by events that I knew were coming. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Den Of Geek! - Tony Sokol Nov 18, 2013

    It's not just for Beatle fans. Fans of music history will also like the skewered take on Col. Parker. The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story is funny and sad, poignant and playful, and fun. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Spectrum - Andrew Sanford Feb 24, 2014

    This is one book that you can judge by the cover and if that art strikes your fancy, grab a copy. On a strange note, the publisher Dark Horse leaves their logo off the spine, in favor of their "M Press" imprint of which I was previously unaware. The story is compelling but as noted, I can't speak to how closely it hews to other reported accounts. They conclude that the contributions of Epstein were essential to the eventual success of the Beatles. If you are a big Beatles fan, I am unsure how to advise you but certainly this book shows Epstein's troubles. Further, to the extent that your personal beliefs condemn homosexuality, you may not like the tenor of the book which is sympathetic to the idea of equality based on sexual orientation but regardless I can't imagine any reader not recognizing the high quality of the product. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    Crave Online - Iann Robinson Nov 18, 2013

    Overall, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story is impressive. Even with the content exclusions, you have to respect the scope of what Tiwary, Robinson, and Baker are trying to accomplish. Read Full Review

  • 3.9
    Culture Mass - Andy Mansell Nov 19, 2013

    The Fifth Beatle is a genuine embarrassment. Who was Brian Epstein? This graphic novel doesnt tell us, but his tragic life sure will make a swell movie! Read Full Review

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