Titan Comics 2016
Written by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel
Illustrated by Lee Sullivan
Coloured by Luis Guerrero
Lettered by Rob Steen
Where there is weirdness, the cruel and unusual with a twist of strangeness, you will find them... PC Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale. London’s only wizarding cops, they are tasked with investigating ‘Falcon’ crimes – those with just that hint of the more-than-normal…
I’m fascinated by this series, there’s a whole thing going on where the police have a department where they deal with supernatural threats. It’s largely considered a joke among the “real” officers but it makes for the best reading. With it being in London you’ve got the whole of Europe at your disposal to pull from. This means so many different mythologies and legends that can be showcased, immigration brings strange bedfellows after all. That these are based off Ben’s novels and are original stories set in between them makes his collaboration with Andrew all the more fun to witness.
I love the way this issue opens. Not only do we get this incredible scenario unfolding before us but we also get a great sense of something much larger at play. So the introduction of a prisoner who doesn’t want to leave the protection that offers makes Varvara a very complex woman whom I look forward to seeing more of. I was more than a little shocked and amused after the attempt to free her what we saw next. Still it does wonders and it opens up so much in terms of background and the introduction of the current threat.
I have to say the dialogue and characterization that we get here makes this the kind of stuff that is not only intense, fun but thrilling. You get it all from the seriousness of the supernatural threats to hard personalities of those in either trouble or seeking help to the almost comical irreverence of the cops at times trying for levity instead of losing their cool. Everything has a reason, purpose and place in the writing and it’s so well done that you kind of get lost in it and it envelopes you bringing to a place you wish you could visit.
I absolutely adored the history lesson we get here today. The way what really happened is woven into what fits for this world and it’s citizens, see witches etc, is so utterly brilliant. It isn’t quite history and it isn’t quite fictional and that prospect appeals to the western mindset when thinking about Russia.
Lee and Luis do some wonderful work on the interiors here. I love the realistic aspect to the art that keeps them people and not exaggerated. The way the story flows through the pages and panels is greatly done. Plus the history lesson with the ruble is an inspired page. I am enjoying the emotion and feel that the work gives off.
This has the whole package as the level of writing and illustration demonstrate. This is the kind of reading I like to get lost in.