You’ve got to give Dynamite Entertainment credit. They’ve been able to nab some popular titles and series in television, film, and print and turn them into comic franchises that should draw new readers to the medium. The company’s latest, The Dresden Files, arrives in stores this week. Does the company continue the success of the previous run, or does it go up in smoke?
THE DRESDEN FILES: FOOL MOON #1
Writers: Jim Butcher and Mark Powers
Artist: Chase Conley
Letterer: Bill Tortolini
Cover: Brett Booth
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in The Dresden Files: I’ll admit it, I know next to nothing about The Dresden Files, except for basic premise that Harry Dresden is a modern day wizard turned private detective who investigates the paranormal, sometimes in conjunction with the police.
MAGIC IN THE REAL WORLD
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was rather odd to see magic in the real world, but a quick brain check reminded me that Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and the like did it regularly, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the Chicago Special Investigation Unit consulting with the country’s only wizard for hire. This issue kicks off the Fool Moon storyline, an adaptation of the second book in The Dresden Files series.
Something is dog-like is killing people, some with direct connections to resident mob boss Johnny Marcone. Considering Dresden and SIU lead, Karen Murphy were heavily involved in a case involving him, this is just another reason for the two to begin the investigation. By issues end, we learn that werewolves are real, and a team of teenage werewolves might be involved. Readers also learn that Murphy is under investigation, and unless the duo crack the case, she could be out of a job, and Dresden could find himself in jail. Throw in some romantic tension and a crack to the head to close out the issue, and you have the makings of a really interesting story. Since I’ve not read the source, i can’t say if this is a good adaptation or a poor one, but I will say that I am interested in what will happen next.
As far as the plotting and pace goes, this first chapter is set up well, with the major beat points happening right where they need to. The narration is perfect for the comic book medium, and I like the fact that editor boxes appear to let those of us who didn’t read the last series know what is going on.
This is the first time in a long while that i’ve read a Dynamite book and didn’t throw it down in disgust over the printing. There are some heavy darks, but instead of slamming the levels, there are some moments where transitions between light and ark are allowed to happen naturally. It really works in this particular issue.
Regarding Chase Conley’s art, I like that care is taken to make sure the characters aren’t simply the same model with different heads. Distinct differences in body type and size make the characters and situation seem more believable, and those character styles are consistent throughout the issue.
I did feel like there were a few pages that had some wasted space because of panel layout, but that only happened a time or two, so it isn’t that big of a deal.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
I didn’t think I would be at all interested in reading this title, but keeping an open mind usually leads to pleasant surprises. That is exactly what The Dresden Files is; a good detective story, with a supernatural wrapper, that includes some nice art and interesting characters. If you are looking for something different to pick up, The Dresden Files is worth a read, and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.