REVIEW: The Dresden Files: Down Town #3

Writer: Jim Butcher, Mark Powers
Art: Carlos Gomez
Cover: Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 8, 2015

Issue three of this original story, based in the same universe as the urban magic /detective series it spawned, sees Padawan (Dresden’s name, not mine) Molly escape her self created cliff hanger from last issue.

Starting as it does, you are drawn straight into to action which is a great idea if, as can happen, there is a need to explain story points through either characters conversing or the dreaded inner monologue.

So, Molly has been attacked by some mystical gloop, there is a monster terrorising convenience stores and there is a babbling monologing spouting wizard under the city. The various parts of the story are being carefully moved into place as, it seems, the various fractions move to a climate battle.

Words are provided by series creator Jim Butcher and long time Dresden scribe Mark Powers. As such,  being with both the series creator and the person who has adapted the novels into graphic novels should put you on a great place. I am not sure that is the case.  The story, seems quite tame. It carries the usual hocus pocus I’d expect and the detective’s don’t really detect anything and the Star Wars references are a tad annoying, as, having not read previous books, I don’t know if they are forced. Hopefully the villain’s alluded to reason for creating the gollum will become clear and add some weight to the story.

Art is supplied by Carlos Gomez who for the most part tends to seem confused by his own style. At times, he is using a straight edge angle style, then switches to a softer look, especially with Molly and finally seems to be channelling McFarlane’s Violator with some Capullo style bulk.  On the plus side, his backgrounds are full of details which goes some way to ground the urban element of the series. Finally, the colours of the book are ok, there are loads of shadows in play, but it’s the small details that distract the eye, the detective’s beard being a different shade to his hair is particularly jarring.

It’s clear that both writers love the Dresden universe and its equally clear that Gomez loves drawing Molly, who ends up in all kinds of poses that may, in a bigger book with a mainstream character, have added to the on going “women in comics”debate. For the record, I don’t have a problem with how Molly is portrayed either by the art or the plot, rescuing herself shows her self reliance; remember comic books are in part a visual medium. As whole, the book is ok, not really delivering enough bang for my buck. That said I am sure that fans of the hugely popular novel will see enough in the comic to enjoy.

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