Penny Dreadful #2 COMIC REVIEW
Written by: Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Artist: Louie De Martinis
Publisher: Titan Comics
OUT: 29 June
After a disappointingly uninspiring first issue, the second instalment in this series is a huge improvement – swapping issue one’s gloomy, moody panels with their lack of dialogue for a huge chunk of narrative. And thank heavens for that, because now there’s a good chance these comics could become a welcome replacement for the Penny Dreadful show itself, which aired its final episode last week and broke many hearts in the process.
Now that there’s so much talking going on we can finally get feel for the characters, who sound perfectly like their TV counterparts. Case in point: Vanessa saying, “Everyone else thinks I’m a neurotic.” Many writers would use the more 21st-century phrasing of “I’m neurotic.” Amazing how a simple “a” can make it sound so authentic… nice.
And while the story this issue is basically just a retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – with Jonathan Harker explaining what happens to Mina after she’s bitten over the course of a few nights – it’s got that delicious Penny Dreadful twist which ensures there’s a Yank who pulls out his six-shooters and a powerful female character says: “F**k this.”
Meanwhile, the ending – which we obviously won’t give away – hints that we’ll get to learn a back-story Penny Dreadful fans have been wondering about. Looking forward to that one.
Elsewhere in the comic you get an interesting piece on creature prosthetics taken from The Art And Making Of Penny Dreadful by Sharon Gosling, which is great for casual readers but a bit of a rip-off if you’ve already got the book. Then again, you bought this for the comic, so that’s fair enough. And it really is much better than issue one. Good news for fans of the show after what has been a pretty rotten week, eh?
Review by Jayne Nelson