Action Lab Entertainment 2016
Novel by Peter David
Adapted by Nicole D’Andria
Illustrated by Laura Neubert
Coloured by Laur Rea
Lettered by Justin Birch
I am enjoying this series immensely! I love the way it’s been thought out making the Artful Dodger the center of attention and with his past history and still somewhat shady ways he’s the perfect foible for Fagin and his fellow vampires. Also I have to admit there’s a certain kind of cleverness in that Fagin a Jewish man in life is now a vampire who is unafraid of the Cross. It’s one of those things that few think of and it’s actually a very well thought out and used plot device.
Ilike the way that Dodger and Bram survive this full on encounter as the vampires storm the church in search of Drina. I also like the way the boys figure out who she is this issue and somewhat why she’s important to the vampires. However if the boys are going to rescue her then they are going to need to help and luckily Oliver lives near the church so they pay him a visit.
I do like that this is Bram’s story as he tells it from a cell. I also like his depiction of Oliver Twist and his own opinions of the lad. At least we know this is set a few years after that original story so we’ve got another timeline in place. While i’m not sure if a reunion would’ve been something i’d liked to have seen or not the matter really is taken out of our hands. The way that this story is structured is extremely well done there’s a great flow to the series of events and that we don’t have a lot of time between scenes (filler) actually works to the story’s advantage. Instead we get this really good, strong and interesting tale where the world of the Artful Dodger is turned completely upside down and for once in his life he gets to play the part of the hero.
While we do get to see some familiar faces that for the most part Dodgers world is pretty much completely new means that the characterisation is fresh. While Dodger is still kind of up to his old tricks and likes to talk as if he’s further up in station than he is those around him know what’s what and it all comes out in the way theys peak. Speaking of the dialogue here I like the way that it’s used as if they are thinking aloud, making sure what they think sounds right and we get those explanations in the conversations that work in plot and story advancement.
I do like the interiors here while still very much all-ages there are moments where the architecture is wonderfully visible and well detailed. The characters all fit how they live their lives and the use of page layouts through angles and perspective are very well done. It’s a nice homage to the original material with a little more updated feel. I’m also a big fan that the vampires can be scary and convey their nature and yet still not be too much for the younger audience.
Overall this is a splendid all-ages action thriller set in the world of Oliver Twist and it exceeds any and all expectation I could’ve had. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable!