Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics 2017
Written by Sylvain Runberg
Illustrated by Homs
Translated by Rachel Zerner
Lettered by Phillipe Glogowski
Base on the Novel by Stieg Larsson
So a couple of things i’ve never read the novel nor have I seen the movie. So I know next to nothing about this franchise. I also had no idea that this first issue was going to be like 64 pages long either. I kept reading and reading and thinking damn they are cramming a lot of stuff into a first issue when I realised that at page 28 I was only partly way through. Then I accepted the fact that this was going to be huge and went with it. Suddenly it turned into more than a comic book adaptation and became more of a novel for me. It’s rare when a book can be translated and into a comic and then somehow beyond expectation retain that feel of a novel even though it’s fully damn illustrated.
If this is how books are written in foreign languages forget the translation process someone teach me the language so I can read it as it’s meant to be. Translations are good and all but there will always be something lost in that translation it’s inevitable. What isn’t lost on me here is the way this story is structured, paced and how we involved we get in how it’s told. This was incredibly good in drawing me in, keeping my attention, getting me to care about the characters and both root for their decisions and hate on those who do such despicable acts to them.
The characterisation here is superbly done and the longer we get to see the characters, what they have to go through and endure the more we start to care about them as living breathing people. The imagery her does more for the characterisation than simply placing them in a situation alone. I mean the very idea a man would use an underage charge for the purpose of raping her to feel better about himself sickens me to my core. Yet her reaction to that and how she went and “fixed” the situation to her liking gave me huge respect for her, how she thinks and not wanting to be a victim ever again. Granted those experiences have alienated her from those who truly do care for her and her growing and evolving personality and characterisation is now something I relish seeing more of.
It’s not just with our girl with the dragon tattoo either. Who knew that Mr. Blomkvist would end up being a just as enjoyable character as she is? A journalist who got shafted by the system because the man he went up against has more money and influence that he was able to reach the higher parts of the land to get himself off scott free. So now what’s a man like him to do? He goes off on a job to write a family history autobiography of people in Sweden who don’t sound very Swedish, what with white supremacists in their backgrounds full of individuals who are of questionable morality and behaviour themselves.
Then there’s the link between Blomkvist and Lisbeth and what that means for the both of them.
I will say this as well the interior artwork here is beyond my expectations. The style is perfectly lovely and the linework is gorgeously rendered with these wonder weights and attention to detail. The way page layus are utilised through their angles and perspective not to mention the sheer volume of backgrounds that we see really bring this to life. I love that this is Europe and more precisely in Sweden so we see landmarks, buildings and architecture that we aren’t exposed to every day.
This is superb stuff. I’m constantly surprised and amazed that more literature isn’t turned into comic books in ways that don't’ cheapen the source material. If Titan can do for these types of novels I wonder what they could do with The Iron Druid Chronicles series?