Story: Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King
Art: Louie De Martinis
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Cover(s): Guillem March, Ben Templesmith, Louie De Martinis
Publisher: Titan Comics
I have always been quite dubious about books or comics that serve as companion pieces to films or TV shows. In the past I’ve found such things, proclaimed as canon, to be either bad or superfluous and if the first issue of Titan Comics’ ‘Penny Dreadful’ comic is anything to go by, then unfortunately we have another.
Written by show writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, I had high hopes for the comic as I am a huge fan of the show.
The comic acts as a prequel to the first series of the show of the same name (the TV show being in its third season at present) and I think that’s part of the reason I was very melancholy towards it.
Over the course of the issue a lot of it was taken up with scenes we had already seen on the show in flashback and offered nothing new. By the time the end of the issue rolled around I was too bored to care. I do, however, like that Wilson-Cairns has the voice of these characters down and I could hear them as I read as if I was watching an episode.
On the art front, we had Louie De Martinis who I was not familiar with before reading this. The relative actor’s likenesses all appear as they should, just like on the series such as Timothy Dalton and Eva Green leading me to believe that a lot of photo-referencing was used.
As a result of this, all scenes involving the characters we’ve already seen on the show appear stiff and lifeless. The art gains fluidity however when Martinis is let loose drawing the monsters of the macabre that we get in the issue, namely vampires. While I understand this is an adaptation of screen material and the art needs to reflect likeness I was a little disappointed and hope that in future issues he will be able to ply his craft on more creature features.
Overall I don’t see this issue as a must read or buy even if you’re a fan of the series. I will admit though that subsequent issues may get better as we move along and the last page cliffhanger here does offer something to get excited by but is it too little too late?
I hold out hope that I’m surprised. For now, I give this issue…
2 out of 5 nerds