Review: Penny Dreadful #2

What do you know of the Demimonde? Based on the hit TV show and popular periodicals of Victorian England, Penny Dreadful from Titan Comics brings its own dark magic from beyond...

Written by the original creators of the show, this book tries hard not to stray too far from it’s source material.  Our gothic medium Vanessa is attempting to save the soul of her once dear friend Mina, collecting numerous allies in her fateful journey through the darkness that surrounds her.  Sir Malcolm is present in all his Timothy Dalton like glory, as is his servant and sidekick, Sembene, with whom he shares a deep, dark past.  Our group is united in their purpose, to find Sir Malcolm’s daughter, and Vanessa’s dearest childhood friend Mina after an entity known only as “The Master” has laid claim to her soul.

As joyous as it is to see some of my favourite gothic TV heroes brought to life in vivid ink and colour, Krysty Wilson-Cairns might be clinging just a little tightly to the source material for some.  Let’s not be too unkind though, this book clearly declares itself as a prequel to the TV show, not a spin-off.  If I was being picky, the dialogue and lettering could be a little stronger to really help the story take root.

Penny_Dreadful_2_Cover_ABut you know what?  None of that matters...and do you know why?

The art.

My god, I just adore the art in this book.  Louise De Martinis has outdone himself here, incorporating deep, midnight reds and vibrant, twilight blues to astonishing effect, it so perfectly reflects the gothic noir setting of this story.  There’s even little fine details to be found around the panels themselves: scratchings, blood smears and mysterious arcane symbols surround the action at every turn, as if this comic was plucked directly from the dark void itself.  The effect is nothing short of breathtaking, something you definitely don’t see every day in comics.

The imagery in this book is powerful and the tension palpable as you flick from one gore soaked page to the next.  Demons might await around every corner but that won’t stop me from picking up the next installment...

Mina?  Mina is that you?

[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Penny Dreadful #2
Writer: Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Artist: Louie De Martinis
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher:  Titan Comics
Price: $3.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital