Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files - Down Town

And speaking of The Dresden Files...

Since Butcher seems to be taking a rather lengthy break from Dresden while he writes some other novels, I'm thrilled that Dynamite Comics is still putting out mini-series with new original stories, written by Jim Butcher, in conjunction with Mark Powers (and very beautifully drawn by Carlos Gomez).

As I've read the 15 books in the Dresden Files series, I've created my own images of the characters in my mind.  When Sci-Fi channel put out the Dresden Files television show a few years back (starring Paul Blackthorne, who now plays Detective Lance on the CW's Arrow), my mind sort of starting picturing the actors from that show in the roles.  Now, though, Carlos Gomez has captured these characters so perfectly, it's easy to see them now as the way he draws them.  Dresden, Molly.  Karen.  Tomas.  Even Mouse and Bob.

This latest adventure, Down Town, is set just after Proven Guilty and White Knight in the book series.  Dresden is training Molly in the user of her magical gifts, when a mysterious creature (who turns out to be a Golem) begins killing - first a pawn shop owner, then the owner of a laundromat.  There doesn't seem to be any apparent connection - until Marcone shows up at the end of the first issue.

Fans of the books will be very pleased with the comic stories, as not only are they a part of the official Dresden canon, but they flow seamlessly into the realm of the books.  The characterization is spot-on, and the stories have the same flavor and action.  Harry is once again on a mission to save innocent lives, Marcone is up to his usual tricks with his own agenda, and there's an evil villain on the loose, using magic to destroy and create chaos.

I love how involved Molly is in this story.  She hasn't been involved in the comics up to this point, so to now see her brought to life (so to speak) and watch as she practices with her new-found abilities is a lot of fun.  It's also great to see Mouse in action as well (as he plays a pretty good role in this story).

Where many comics today feel padded with long, drawn-out stories just to pad a story into six-issues or so to fill a trade paperback, this story does not.  Each page is packed with story, and every panel, every word balloon is imperative to the tale.  And there are not a lot of splash pages just to show off the flashy art (in hopes of distracting from the weak story).  No need for that here.  This is just good, old-fashioned Dresden.

Definitely looking forward to the next mini-series, whether it's a comic-adaptation of one of the books (so far, they've done Storm Front and Fool Moon) or a new original story, either way, I'll be there!

RATING:  10 fiery fuego blasts out of 10 for staying true to The Dresden Files and keeping my thirst for more Dresden stories quenched for the time being.

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