Apparently there are a series of books that people actually give a s--t about yet I have no knowledge of. I guess I don’t know everything. Take for instance Patricia Briggs’ book series about a werewolf named Mercedes Thompson. Well maybe not werewolf; she can turn into a coyote, so what does that make her? Anyway, Briggs recently took her book series to Dynamite to dabble in comics. Is it good?
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
I imagine authors jump into comics to give TV and movie producers that extra step in seeing their story in a visual medium. Dynamite has done it with Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files for instance, but it’s also an opportunity to capture a new audience. That audience includes me, who opened this book with absolutely no idea who these characters were and what was going on in continuity. It’s safe to say it’s a good opening salvo to the series, as everything is clear, the character dynamics are strong and the mystery is compelling.
Handy backpack and handy nudity for any horny readers.
Briggs gets help writing from Rik Hoskin and they do a nice job pacing things out and keeping the interest levels high. There isn’t a whole lot of action in this issue, but there is a lot of good storytelling. There are some flashbacks to a witch looking woman, an uncovering of a ceremonial burial ground and an introduction to a universe where werewolves are accepted, at least moderately, in society. Don’t think this is some kind of Twilight series by any means, as there’s no romantic bologna to sift through. The main character is married to a werewolf who has a daughter in high school. The idea of a kid trying to be accepted in school with parents who can turn into dogs is an interesting angle.
Having not read these books I’m a bit confused as to why the werewolves are simply wolves and not straight up monsters, but I guess that’s just how they are in this world. The more important thing is it all gets wrapped up in an interesting concept of how terms shift in meaning over time. Office antics turned to bullying over the years, for instance. It’s a good way to introduce the werewolves by making it understandable how something as fantastical as that might become accepted.
Artist Tom Garcia does a great job with the wolves in the book and facial expressions. In fact, I get a very strong Mark Bagley impression with his work on the faces and bodies in the book. The layouts aren’t anything special, but they are straightforward and clear. He’s predominantly worked on Hellraiser so I suspect his strength is monsters, which you can see here with the witch, but for the most part this issue stays in the average, everyday world. That means not a lot of his strengths are utilized just yet, but the job gets done well.
The cast of characters.
Is It Good?
I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters and the mystery that is driving the plot of this series. A great first issue that is worth checking out.