Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Storm Front
Writer: Jim Butcher, Mark Powers
Artist: Ardian Syaf
32 pp. Dabel Brothers. $3.99
Reviewed by Paul Stotts
“I’m a wizard, just like the sign says.
Oh, I get it. Kid’s parties. Stuff like that.” – Jim Butcher’s
After the recent success of the excellent comic series Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files Welcome to the Jungle, the publisher Dabel Brothers have decided to adapt author Jim Butcher’s first Dresden Files novel, Storm Front, into a new comic book series. Adapting a novel with all its nuances into comic book form can be a difficult endeavor. Some books just wouldn’t work as comics. Storm Front is not one of those books. Butcher, in fact, in the past has mentioned that he has always envisioned the novels as a cartoon. He isn’t lying if the first issue of Storm Front is any indication; the material seems like a natural for the comic medium.
The impressive aspect of the first issue is how well it mirrors the novel’s storyline. I would have expected some judicious editing here, removing some scenes to move the story along and save space, but everything from the novel so far seems to be intact. (It’s been a while since I’ve read the novel Storm Front, but it struck my fuzzy memory as being consistent.) I wasn’t expecting this high level of detail from the comic, so I was quite surprised with how true to the source material it was.
Harry Dresden happens to be a wizard. A real one. He’s even in the
After inspecting the scene, Harry concludes that only a very powerful human sorcerer could have cast such an energy-intensive spell, but he has no idea what the killer’s motive could be. Making uncovering the murderer even more difficult, both of the victims have shady connections. One of the victims works for an upscale escort service which is run by a vampire acquaintance of Harry’s, while the other victim is a bodyguard for top
Writer Mark Powers (along with Jim Butcher who’s credited for the source material) does a great job adapting the novel here. Powers relies heavily on the novel (as it should be), and does the best thing he can do in such a situation, namely to not screw it all up. Smartly, he stays true to the source material, as opposed to putting his mark on the story by reinventing the material.
Ardian Syaf, who did the art on Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files Welcome to the Jungle, is an old hand at Harry Dresden’s universe. The artwork here is solid, though unspectacular. The most intriguing thing about the visuals was Syaf’s design of the characters that to this point I had only read about in the novels like Gentleman Johnny Marcone. Also,
I anticipated being disappointed by this issue, figuring that it would be a pale imitation of the novel; however, I was pleasantly surprised at how authentic the comic turned out to be. Hopefully, future issues will keep this authenticity up.
Final Grade: 86 out of 100