Review: Penny Dreadful #1

PennyDreadful_1_COVER_AWhen it comes to horror TV shows of recent memory, many do not scare or entertain, as there are exceptions, (can’t wait for Ash Vs Evil Dead to come back) and the brilliant Penny Dreadful. I must say when I first heard of the gruesome TV show, I was skeptical of whether it would succeed, especially a show which included Josh Hartnett, and a cast of well known British actors, most of whom have not been on television for years. There were moments throughout the first season, which met my doubts, but before the season ended, it would find its rhythm, and come to understand what all great stories do, it always about the characters. The show recently returned for its season, and the show has subsequently gotten better.

So when I heard that Titan Comics, was taking the reins on the adaptation of the TV show into comics, I had two initial thoughts, I hope they don’t mess it up, and the other one being can they do horror comics , right? As the publishing house has had much success with each Doctor Who adaptation and have had success in original comics as wells, such as the intriguing Rivers of London.  Rarely do adaptations of TV shows rarely work, as can be seen by the dry and slow paced DC adaptation of Vampire Diaries. Then there was the Dynamite adaptation of Grimm, which I found to be fairly good, as they not only captured the spirit of the TV show, but added to the show’s already extensive mythology.

This adaptation of Penny Dreadful definitely has the same blood coursing through its veins, as it picks up from some very familiar adversaries of the television show. We find Vanessa, being haunted by the same vampires on the TV show, and now accompanied by werewolves.  Vanessa and Malcolm, try their best to find Malcolm‘s daughter Mina, while on a carriage ride full of surprises. By issue’s end, the reader is introduced to a familiar character from Bram Stoker’s classic, but if the show is any indication, this version will be very much different, than what any of us has seen before.

Overall, a strong   first issue, which has taken its cues not only from the TV show, but also what Archie Horror has brilliantly done with their books. The story by Kristy Wilson-Cairns, Andrew Hinderaker and Chris King, is enough to satisfy any horror fan. The art by Louie De Martinis, is gloomy haunting and beautiful, and exactly what this story needed. Altogether, a brilliant first issue, which more than promises that this book will be sensation all its own.

Story: Kristy Wilson-Cairns, Andrew Hinderaker and Chris King Art: Louie De Martinis
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Titan Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review