I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve enjoyed The Dresden Files from writer Jim Butcher for quite some time. The novels have been great, and they’ve led to several comics miniseries’ from Dynamite Entertainment.
The latest foray into comics is Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Down Town, which will be released in hardcover on Wednesday, September 23. You can buy the regular edition or the version with Mr. Butcher’s autograph on it. Thanks to Dynamite for sharing a review copy!
Previously in JIM BUTCHER’S DRESDEN FILES: DOWN TOWN: “Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden and his new apprentice, Molly Carpenter, intend to end the havoc caused by a mad sorcerer – one whose ambitions would have the Windy City streets carved out as his own private kingdom. But when the magical upstart enters into an alliance with the notorious mob boss ‘Gentleman Johnnie’ Marcone, will the fast-and-loose Dresden and his young charge survive unscathed? This graphic novel collects the critically acclaimed six-issue series in one volume, and features a bonus section with Jim Butcher’s original story outline, sketchbook artwork from Carlos Gomez, cover gallery with roughs from Stjepan Sejic, and more!”
THAT SPECIAL DRESDEN MAGIC
Several things make The Dresden Files so enjoyable to me. First thing takes place with the pop culture references, something like what Buffy the Vampire Slayer did so well. Next, I like the way we’ve gotten to know the various characters. When they’re in danger, I care about what’s going to happen to them. There’s always a lot of humor mixed in with the adventure, and it flows from the characters as they go through the dangerous situations, so we can easily relate.
I also appreciate that the magic is explained, not just some “woo-woo” thing that appears out of nowhere. It actually makes sense, unlike many other “magical” stories I’ve read.
Thankfully, the comics have been faithful to the novels. I’ve read them all so far, and they’re some of the best novel-to-comics adaptations I’ve ever seen. And the original stories all take place in the official continuity of the novels, so they’re all great. I’m always glad when these comics come out because they fill the gaps between the novels, very much “untold stories” about Harry and his troupe.
Obviously, Mr. Butcher is pleased with them as well since he has said the following in a news release: “I loved the way the story came out, and I look forward to creating more graphic novels with Dynamite!” It really makes a difference when the creative mind behind the franchise plays an important part in the comics!
‘DOWN TOWN’ AND NEW DANGERS
Like previous Dresden miniseries’, this story was previously released in six individual issues from Dynamite. To read Stephen Schleicher’s review of the first issue, go to this link!
This collection takes place months after the events depicted in the White Night novel, with the War between the Red Court and White Council raging on. But vampires are far from the only supernatural threat Chicago’s only “wizard for hire” must stand against. Someone’s unleashed an entity unlike anything Harry has faced before. The worst part is that it has begun targeting the innocent, seemingly indiscriminately. Along with his apprentice, Molly Carpenter, Harry must discover the truth about this new predator… no matter how far into darkness he must descend.
One of the most interesting things that happens in Down Town is that Harry finds he’s got to team up with one of his worst enemies – Mobster Marconne – in order to stop the evil that’s taking place. He forms an uneasy alliance with that person, and it’s something to see them work together for a change!
Molly’s powers continue to blossom as well, and it’s fun to actually see her as she uses them. I have a good imagination, but it’s great to have something to help me visualize what she looks like.
GREAT ART THAT FITS THE STORY
The Dresden comics have been truly outstanding when it comes to their artists. The art is clear and dynamic during the action sequences, and the characters can clearly be identified from each other. We also get to see their facial expressions, which are portrayed very well!
I particularly enjoyed the final battle between Harry with his allies versus the evil they’ve been preparing to fight. Then, too, the aftermath is well done, with everyone picking up the pieces. Well done!
BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER GREAT ‘DRESDEN’ TALE
If you like well-written stories that have strong characterization, fast-paced plots and magic that makes sense, I highly recommend The Dresden Files novels and these superb miniseries’ from Dynamite. Great art, powerful story, dynamic art … it’s one of the best supernatural comics out there today!
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