Issues One and Two
The Penny Dreadful comic comes to us via Titan Comics and gives us the backstory of Mina Murray’s marriage to Jonathan Harker; abduction by Dracula and the first meeting between our Dreadfuls and Harker’s vampire hunting crew. The writing quality is superb, capturing the tone of the show perfectly as well as the characters we’ve come to know and love while also giving us three new characters who fit seamlessly into the Dreadful universe. Jonathan Harker is a certified badass whose first few panels tell you everything you need to know about what kind of man he is and what horrors he’s survived. It’s a great way to bring in one of literature’s classic characters while at the same time putting a deft spin on him we’ve really not seen before.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the art quality, which is very hit or miss. The backgrounds and atmosphere are lovely and very Victorian, with a sparseness that actually helps to build a feeling of impending dread. However, much like Supernatural: Origins, the characters themselves are drawn in a way that’s boring at best, with the artist trying very hard to make them look like their television counterparts yet failing to capture their essence. I’m hoping as the comic goes on this will fade, as it did with Supernatural’s comic, and the artist will relax a bit. (Shane Pierce’s alternate cover is gorgeous and is precisely the kind of art this book needs going forward.)
Overall I’d give these first two books a rating of 4 out of 5 bullets, as the quality of writing elevates the artwork by a good bit. A definite must read for viewers of the show and fans of gothic horror everywhere.
Script: Krytsy Wilson-Cairns
Artist: Louie De Martinis
FC – $3.99 – 32pp – On sale: Jun 29