DC Comics 2021
Written by Scott Bryan Wilson
Illustrated by Juan Gedeon
Coloured by John Rauch
Lettered by AW’s DC Hopkins
The continuing untold early Cold War adventures of Alfred Pennyworth, British spy! Alfred is reunited with one old friend, confronts another, and takes a meeting with his MI6 handler…or it could all be just a hallucination as he runs out of time and freezes to death, alone in the vast emptiness of the frigid north.
I know this is based off the television program but I have to say it fits so seamlessly into Alfred’s history in the comics as well. I am an absolutely huge fan of this series and what we are seeing here as the past and present play off one another in ways that you have read to fully understand. Usually the “then and now” tactic of storytelling isn’t among my favourites but Scott does such an amazing job of it and makes the transition so seamless that it all just seems to flow so incredibly well. Seeing him so young and still learning as he goes and the first love of his life being who and what she is just makes this so much more interesting than you could possibly imagine it being. This will put a spell on you and you’ll find yourself with a new appreciation of Batman’s loyal and faithful servant.
I am loving the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job with their ever changing and evolving personalities. The pacing here is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story not to mention the twists, turns and revelations makes us want to see and know more.
I am a huge fan of the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also a fan of the way that we see the layers within the story open up new avenues to be explored and boy let me tell you old chap there are a number of them that add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here really are quite fantastic! The linework we see is clean, crisp and strong and how the varying weights and techniques are being utilised to create the detail within the work that we see is extraordinarily well rendered. How we see backgrounds being utilised are nicely rendered, though they could be sharper, as they enhance and expand the moments beautifully. They also work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a great understanding of how colour works.
I am so thrilled with this series and how we see it progress and how the past ties into what Alfred is experiencing in the present. The writing here is exceptional and the characterisation is superb while the interiors are extremely well rendered and sheds such new life on such a classic character.