Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Thunder power, 26 Aug 2011
This review is from: Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Storm Front Volume 2 - Maelstrom HC (Dresden Files (Dynamite Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
It took a very long time for the second volume of the "Dresden Files: Storm Front" comic book to come out, apparently because it switched from Dabel Brothers to Dynamite Entertainment.

So there's a bit of a shock coming partway through this comic book, when the shift occurred. Jim Butcher's solid urban fantasy story is as strong as ever, piling on the distrust, monsters and black magic until the fiery climax... but the art derails in a big way. Ardian Syaf, why did you have to go work for DC?

Harry is in more trouble than ever -- after seeing him destroy a demon, Morgan has decided that Harry must have summoned it, which is a deadly offense for a wizard. And Linda is found murdered, Murphy is enraged that Harry withheld evidence, which means his police connection might have just dried up. Worst of all, one of the bad guys just stole his hair, which means he's next.

So Harry hurtles from Johnny Marcone's lounge to the house of another client, searching for the location of the evil wizard's hideaway. But the murderer is one step ahead of Harry, and even if he can find him, he may be not be able to actually destroy him before the next thunderstorm....

"Dresden Files: Storm Front" is a pretty strong, straightforward story, mixing in gritty noir and cop work with the supernatural weirdness of curses, faeries, wizards, demons and giant oozing evil scorpions. The writing is strong, with lots of spooky moments and explosive action scenes, as well as a healthy helping of gore.

And adapter Mark Powers does a good job balancing Harry's internal monologue ("A soulgaze is never a pretty thing") with the external dialogue and the action. Harry himself is shown getting more desperate and friendless, as his allies (Murphy) and enemies (Morgan) start ganging up on him. The supporting characters are still a bit flat, but good for a start.

So what exactly is the problem here? That would be the artwork.

Literally halfway through the book, the comic book shifted hands and Ardian Syaf left to work for DC Comics. So literally in the middle of a fight, the ENTIRE art style suddenly shifts from Syaf's rough, gritty style to Brett Booth's weirdly glossy, contorted-face art. It's intensely weird to see Harry and his magical opposition twisting their faces into rolling-eyed yelps. And Morgan doesn't even look like the same person.

"Dresden Files: Storm Front" has strong writing, a solid hero and plenty of fantasy/horror. However, the derailed comic art is just disorienting, and the last quarter of Jim Butcher's story is undermined by it.
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