07th Jun2018

‘Penny Dreadful #10′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Chris King | Art by Jesus Hervas | Published by Titan Comics

PennyDreadful_2_10_Cover-A

I recall reading somewhere that Chris King said that he really loved these characters, which as the Executive Producer of the TV show you would expect him to say. He does, however have a funny way of showing it. The characters have been well and truly put through the wringer this series, technically Season 4 in comic book form, with life changing events and deaths all over the place. I suppose a good writer must practice tough love, and tell the story that the characters lead you to. I suspect Chris King wants us to be on permanent tenter hooks, never quite knowing who is going to survive each issue. Which we don’t. I’m surprised we still have this amount of the cast left to be honest. Still, haven’t opened Page 1 of this issue yet…

Rapid recap time. It’s literally hell on Earth. Lucifer/ Vanessa are near victory, as our battered non-group grimly fight on. Their most powerful member, Ethan, is critically ill, and their only hope seems to lie with Catriona and Victor finding Dracula, seemingly on the Isle of the Living Dead. Not anyone’s first choice in a travel brochure I’m guessing. Hello as well to wild card Lord Hyde, as Dr Jekyll has finally perfected his formula, creating….what, exactly. Time will tell.

The first battle we come across this issue is the one for Ethan’s soul. Lily talks to him in the real world, while Vanessa tries to seduce his soul in his mind. A symbolic between the two most important women in his life, both of whom are radically changed from when he first met them. Unfortunately, Lucifer’s power wins this time, and Ethan starts to make his way to the Tower of London in a supernatural stupor, where Vanessa is waiting. As is his, shudder, unborn child.

Meanwhile Catriona and Victor, with the brother and sister werewolves, are travelling by train to find Dracula. Unfortunately for them, the nightcomers have found them first. Remember them, the bald, naked immensely powerful witches devoted to the Dark Gods. We then get a multi-page, frenetic fight aboard a out of control speeding train. Classic imagery right there, which could only be bettered by having a fight on the roof. Which is why we have Victor fighting a nightcomer on the trains roof. Brilliant sequence. The fighting throughout the train is brutal, dominance swinging one way then another. One of the newcomers is killed, but before anything else can happen, Chris King decides to play the Ace of runaway train imagery. It goes over a cliff. Who survives? Come back next month… heh.

I think this issue was slightly less dark and depressing just to give us a little break. Bit more action this month, and a little more character interaction than we’ve had for a time. We learn that Catriona, as well as being unorthodox in her dress (she likes men’s clothes) is also unorthodox in her sexual tastes for the time. Although her look and manner made me assume she was at best bisexual, Chris King confirms it here. A solid read, packed with plenty to get your teeth into. Again, Jesus Hervas art is every bit as important here, his scratchy style just perfect for the stories being told, as is the muted colour palette of Jason Wordie. It seems a happy situation where each member of the creative team pushes the other to be at the top of their game, and they most certainly are. Brilliant stuff.

I can honestly not think of anything about this book I would change. I love the writing, the characters, the art, the style. It’s a book that is unique, with its own look and feel, and should be on everyone’s pull list for sure.

It may be called Penny Dreadful, but the entertainment value is priceless.

***** 5/5

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