It’s been a long time since I read the “Girl” Trilogy, but a couple of months ago I introduced a friend to the Swedish films, so I was pretty much up to speed on the story. I remember reading that Denise Mina, a terrific Scottish writer, was going to do the comic book version for Vertigo and I made a mental note to check it out. Well that was more than three years ago, but at least now I was able to get the whole run in one TPB.
Mina’s adaptation is pretty close to the source material, emphasizing that the horrors inflicted upon women are everywhere and ever present, often woven into the very fabric of society. Lisbeth’s personal experience, that of her mother and of the victims of the central mystery isn’t played for salaciousness. Lisbeth even has a great little speech about that towards the end.
Many of the characters hew closely to the book and even pop a little more. The Vangers are a seriously effed up group of people, even the low-level drama queens. Mikael’s time amongst them takes it’s toll. As for Mikael himself, he’s still inexplicably attractive to all manner of women and a dogged investigator. Lisbeth herself is terrifically portrayed; her isolation and physical appearance mask a fierce intelligence and the strongest moral code anywhere in the book.
The artwork by Manco and Mutti is alternately cold as a Scandinavian winter and sizzling with a fiery vengeance. Whether you’ve read the novels or not, I would recommend this trade, it adds depth and passion to the Lisbeth Salander mythology.