Dark Entries by Ian Rankin and Werther Dell'Edera
|Dark Entries by Ian Rankin and Werther Dell'Edera|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A great entry to the Constantine mythos, although I do wonder what Ian Rankin's fans might think of it all.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 216||Date: October 2009|
The producers of Dark Entries, the latest hit reality TV show, are worried. Yes the six housemates are there, present and correct, and are ready to be scared witless en route to the one way out, and the brilliant prize that might await them somewhere in the merry-go-round of horror that is their new home. They are already being scared witless, by phantoms - but that's nothing to do with the TV producers.
Enter John Constantine. I think this is the only book of his I've seen never to call him by his regular subtitle - Hellblazer, but the character is perfectly present and correct. You quickly witness both his humdrum reality, and the wit of the man when the producer breaks into his flat to plead for - or buy - his help. And it's not too long before we can see that although this fits perfectly into the Constantine storyline, it is a perfectly self-contained graphic novel.
The reason for this is that it is not one of the regular collections, but a one-off to herald Titan's new series of Graphic Mysteries. On this evidence they're smaller format, hardback books - almost what were once called pocket books. And the style, mood and approach from Titan and Rankin works very well.
If anything the let down is the artwork. Shading is only used sparingly, to herald a flashback, but the chiaroscuro used elsewhere does not exactly create a collection of attractive characters. The art direction seems to focus too often on the female derriere. But it is a style that mostly befits the slightly rough and ready hero.
The plot he's faced with here is a very intelligent and compelling one, and while there are definite digs at reality TV and so on, they're used very lightly, and the main thrust of the book is always the latest supernatural drama to face Constantine. We still see the wit of Rankin as well, though - I loved the fate befalling two of the TV programme's audience members.
I can only hazard a guess at what Rankin's regular fans would think about this book, were they to stumble upon it. He has written for Constantine before - but only a foreword. This proves that he might well have a strong sideline in the future for witty, engaging and very satisfying genre comic titles.
And as for Titan - they don't seem to be sustaining this big name approach to their new series when further books come out every two months, but this tentpole capture of a strong writer means I would willingly return.
Now, when's the TV version coming out?
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You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Entries by Ian Rankin and Werther Dell'Edera at Amazon.com.
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