Publisher: Titan Comics
I really liked the TV series Penny Dreadful. (Not the ending though, but I can’t remember the last time a TV show ending actually left me satisfied) Penny Dreadful is what a good The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen adaptation should look like. Vanessa, in particular, is a fantastic character throughout the series, and I was keen to check out the graphic novel that explored the events prior to the start of the TV show.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think this really added much, and felt more like rehashing what we’d been told within the show itself. The book is marked as ‘1’, but as far as I can tell it’s a standalone graphic novel, whereas there’s another series that continues on from the show itself, which I’d still be interested in checking out.
The artwork is beautiful and Vanessa looks exactly like Eva Green. However, a large amount of the artwork is obscured by darkness. It gives the same effect as trying to watch dark scenes on TV with the curtains wide open.
You can probably tell by now how much I adore graphic novels. And I suspect a glance over my Goodreads will show I give a majority of them 4 or 5 stars. It’s rare where I read one and get frustrated, or start thinking about the next one on my comics TBR before I’ve even finished what I’m reading.
With this, I found myself increasingly bored. There were some good moments, and it was interesting to get a proper look at Harker, but most of the time it felt like it was dragging on – perhaps because of the previously mentioned problem where it was actually difficult to see what was happening in different panels.
I feel like there were much better directions this could have gone, and overall although I sort of enjoyed reading it, it was a little disappointing. Like I said though, it hasn’t put me off checking out the other Penny Dreadful series, though I hope the scenes in the other one are easier to see.