REVIEW: Jim Butchers Dresden Files Welcome To The Jungle #1

by Jeff
geekgoggle REVIEW: Jim Butchers Dresden Files Welcome To The Jungle #1

Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files
Dabel Brothers Comics
Butcher & Syaf

I rarely purchase anything on impulse. I was encouraged to buy this issue by someone at my LCS not because he thought I would like it, but because he wanted it to sell well so more will be published beyond the four issue series that this one is. To my surprise, having not read the books, I not only liked it, but I felt like I got to the character’s personality right off the bat without little to no prior knowledge. This has the makings of a really good series if the writing is of this caliber throughout.

The issue begins with a nice run down of the key characters and an introduction of the title character. Harry Dresden is a real wizard in the city of Chicago. He is contracted by the police department to help solve bizarre crimes or crimes that have a supernatural element to them.

Naturally, there is one cop on the scene that wants him to be there, not because of a common belief in the supernatural, but because cases sometimes need to look beyond the normal investigation techniques. Also on the scene is the gruff cop who is the non-believer and treats all the information out of the wizard’s mouth as made up and useless.

Harry is brought in to the city zoo to investigate the killing of an employee. Most thought the monkey did it, but the cops bring in Harry because the monkey was safely in his cage after the killing while the body was outside the cage.

The zoo employees won’t cooperate because they think the cops will just have the monkey killed. Harry befriends a scientist who will help his investigation. Before things can go much further other animals, with possessed eyes, attack Harry and the scientist’s assistant. So the paranormal element of this issue is basically a tease into the next issue.

A fairly simple story. A tame plot. However, the character interactions and development is outstanding. Real emotions of distrust and lack of faith are littered in all the right places in this issue. It gives some breadth to the characters in the very first issue. Sure there is a case to solve, but it really is sitting in the background of the characters, which makes this a really good story.

The artwork is ok but nothing groundbreaking. I liked the demons and some of the animal scenes, but there wasn’t a ton of action to test out this art. One thing that was noticeable was how unkempt the non-believer cop was depicted. His bald spot could be the messiest hairdo I have ever seen. It just looked like the man smelled like a garbage dump. So in this regard I guess you could say the artwork did its job nicely.

I don’t know how fans of the novels will like this comic. I’m not sure the crossover appeal either, but as someone who had never heard of the books I found this issue to be quite good. Also at 30+ pages with no ads you are playing with house money to start off with. I would recommend this for someone who likes a little supernatural cop stories in the comic stack.

4 out of 5 geek goggles.

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