Penny Dreadful #1 COMIC REVIEW

Penny Dreadful #1 COMIC REVIEW

0 comments 📅09 May 2016, 16:31

• PennyDreadful_1_COVER_A • Preview Page 2

stars 2.5

Story by: Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King
Written by: Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Artist: Louie De Martinis
Publisher: Titan Comics
Releases: 11 MAY

Titan Comics has been seriously flexing its tie-in muscles of late, bringing us several comics based on unusual TV shows (seriously, who would’ve thought Vikings would ever end up as a comic?). Not that we’re complaining, mind you: it’s always nice when a show gets an illustrated spin-off – it’s as though the powers-that-be have decreed it worthy of further exploration, a seal of approval that means we, the fans, get to have more fun in that world.

Although “fun” might be a contentious word to use to describe Penny Dreadful #1, unless you find images of things being torn to shreds absolutely hilarious (and if so, we’re a bit worried about you). Filled with all the brooding, angst, misery and, yes, blood that you see in the TV show, this story – penned by show staff writers Krysty Wilson-Cairns and Andrew Hindraker with Chris King, with art by Louie De Martinis – is a prequel, telling of how Vanessa Ives and Sir Malcolm Murray first teamed up to track down Malcolm’s wayward daughter, Mina.

Some moments gel perfectly with the show; Sembene’s dry wit, for example (and aww, it’s nice to see him again), not to mention all that aforementioned gore. Plus there’s a certain meta magic in the fact a television series named after penny dreadful magazines and books is now its own printed pamphlet – very appropriate!

However, for a debut story this does feel surprisingly short of dialogue: throwing us into the action is one thing, but by gum, as you flick past pages of vampires and wolves having scraps, this is a quick read. There may be lashings of blood, but it’s sadly lacking in meat. Perhaps a little more focus on Vanessa and Malcolm discussing Mina before they set off would have been nice – but the story that follows may well delve further into that, and you can’t deny there’s an interesting final panel…

And one thing that does work wonderfully is Eva Green’s face. Even as an illustration, her eyes say everything you need to know about what Vanessa is thinking; they’re truly hypnotic. Nothing says “Penny Dreadful” more than her sad, haunted peepers, and therefore this comic rings as true as the show. It’s just a shame there’s not more of it to chew on.

Penny Dreadful #1 comes with six collectable covers

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