For those of you wanting to get into the lore and story of Penny Dreadful, look elsewhere. Based on the action packed fantasy/drama Showtime series, this prequel aims to give some back story to the characters the show revolves around, and it misses. Like if the comic was a gun held up, at point blank range, to the side of a house (the house being the Showtime series) there would be a bunch of bullet holes in the dirt.
This comic is just a bland, poorly written read. From the art style, to the story and the writing of said story. This attempt at an expansion of the Penny Dreadful universe just misses it’s mark. At around 100 pages, I found myself forcing my way through at about the 35-40 page mark, and the only reason I read every page was for the sake of being able to write this review.
So where did this comic go wrong?
Well for starters the art style is practically illegible. From the muddy colour palette to the scrappy lines and the blurred frames, its very hard to read what is going on. Upon first impression you see the cover and think “oh wow, she looks just like Eva Green!” a few pages in and it becomes clear that wasn’t the art style intended for the rest of the book.
The sloppy drawings look like pre-renders or place holders. Like images that were there to just give them an idea of what would eventually fill that space. Apparently those drawings never made it into the final product but it’s interesting to think what they may have looked like.
Aside from the attempt at drawing legible characters and backdrops, the writing and story are probably just as bad. The writing flip flops between modern dialogue and old Victorian / Classic English? I honestly don’t know, but it goes from “Hey whats up?” to “My dearest Mina what hast happened to thou?” a lot.
As for the story? Lets just say everything in this “prequel” you can pretty much find in the show. From Sir Malcom’s backstory to what is going on with his daughter, Mina; everything in this comic is somehow previously covered in the show.
Well probably 93% of it anyways, I would say all of it but you can’t really see whats going on so that’s where the other 7% goes to. Unfortunately this was just a disappointing read.