I decided to review Wild Card and Ghoul Goblin together, because they are a good contrast in what you should and shouldn’t do when expanding a series into graphic novels.
This is my first foray into The Dresden Files comic book universe. Wild Card takes place after White Night. if you are new to the Dresden Files, this is not the place to start.
Someone is trying to destabilize Chicago. They want the police to think the White Court is killing humans, the White Court to think Gentleman John Marcone is coming after them, and Marcone to think the police are targeting him. Harry is working with Molly, Butters, Thomas, Karrin and Mouse to solve the mystery before Chicago descends into all out warfare. Puck, a Wyldfae, is the culprit and he’s doing it because he’s bored.
This story was too big a bite for a six issue comic book series. The factions involved are big and complicated, and the antagonist is too powerful. In order to fit this big a story into 6 issues, Dresden and Gomez have to compromise. Puck’s motivation, boredom, is dumb. The resolution is dumb too. After realizing that the combined forces of Harry, Molly, the White Court, Marcone, and the police can’t defeat Puck, it all comes down to a card game. It’s so unsatisfying.
I thought about titling this review Bland Harry Dresden and Many Boobs. The artwork gives us uninteresting looking people and as much cleavage as Carlos Gomez could get away with. It’s not that Gomez is illustrating stuff that isn’t in the books. Dresden has always had a woman problem. But in a book I can gloss over it. Gomez puts the tits right out there and makes every woman Harry encounters look like a blow up doll. It was rather unfair to the Raith sisters. If all the women look like Jessica Rabbit, how can they wield their succubus charms?
Ghoul Goblin, on the other hand, is a great story for a short graphic novel series. Taking place shortly after Fool Moon, Harry is pretty much on his own. Karrin isn’t talking to him, he hasn’t met Thomas yet, and Molly is still a child. He does have Bob, who is horribly under utilized.
Ghoul Goblin takes Harry out of Chicago and gives him a small, discrete adventure. Preston, a sheriff’s deputy from a small town in Missouri, shows up because a pair of siblings have been murdered in ways that don’t seem natural. It turns out that the two victims are descended from a blustering British officer who was rude to some men he took to be lowly Egyptians. The family is cursed.
a ghoul and a goblin are in competition to see which of them can kill the most of the Talbot family, in a certain order. There is a Naga to be an objective arbiter and a surprise jinn. Three more Talbots die before Harry and his newly formed team take out the ghoul and the goblin. It’s a tidy little story about what a wizard for hire does when he isn’t saving the world. These are the kinds of stories that work well for comic book mini-series.
It’s an ok story. It’s better than Wild Card, but it’s definitely a sub-par Dresden Files story.