Jeff Lindsay has brought everyone’s favourite anti-hero to the panels. After six - soon to be seven - bestselling novels and a critically acclaimed television show, Dexter is now in the early stages of a five issue comic book mini-series. Since Marvel announced that a Dexter comic book was in the works, as a big fan of the TV show I was excited. Now I’ve read the first issue, I’m a little less excited for the remainder of the series.
The story starts with Dexter Morgan in pursuit of his next victim, which is enough to reel you in if you’re already familiar with the character. You immediately start to wonder, why this guy? The first three pages show Dexter stalking him and eventually plunging a needle into his neck. Pages one and two keep Dexter in the shadows, as you’d expect, then the jarring realisation comes on the third page when you see that Dexter looks nothing like Michael C Hall. I immediately flicked through the rest of the comic to just check that this was in fact supposed to be Dexter.
The main plot follows Dexter attending his High School reunion with Rita and facing his former bully; Steve Gonzalez. It turns out that Dexter once had Steve on a ‘kill table’ and was about to go through with it, only to be interrupted by the janitor. Gonzalez now claims that this incident made him the man he is today, a wealthy, socialite who runs multiple charities. Dexter is his usual suspicious self and feels that nothing is quite as it seems. The sub-plot and end of the issue, sees Dexter and other members of Miami Metro called to a dead body dump which is immediately linked to a mission that is run by, none other than, Gonzalez.
In Season six, episode one of the Showtime television show, Dexter attends his High School Reunion – I’m unsure as to whether Lindsay is attempting to show that the story will not be completely unlike the show or whether he was being lazy with his storyline.
Cory Petit’s lettering can be hard to read, and it’s all a little close together. When using the letter U, at times it seemed a lot like ‘L I’. (It’s well known in the Comic Book industry that using names that require the letters L and I together are a no-no because of the resemblance to the letter U. See Mark Millar’s magazine; Clint.)
Talajíc’s art is boring and bland; it really lets the whole book down. His characters have very basic facial expressions, they’re angry, sad or happy and there are no in-betweens. His interpretation of Dexter is fanciful and occasionally, laughable (see final picture). If it weren’t for Svorcina’s colouring of skin tones, it would be hard to tell Gonzalez and Dexter apart because aside from that, the only differences are their cheekbones. His continuity is poor and his take on Rita is outlandish – sometimes she looks five stone heavier than she did in the previous panel.
Ive Svorcina’s input does - at times - save the panels from complete ridiculousness, his colouring is lively. When we are treated to a flashback to Dexter’s past, the tones are sepia and sets it apart from the current day.
One good thing about the art is the idea of giving Dexter’s ‘Dark Passenger’ shape as a shadow in the background of some panels. I’m aware that the idea of the ‘Dark Passenger’ was born from vehement violent trauma and you would normally associate darkness with this, but sometimes there are instances where a black splodge - for want of a better word - appears and it doesn’t work and seems as if Talajíc has run out of ideas.
Considering the artistic stylings of the TV show, you’d think the art would be a big draw in a medium that is so focused on just that, however with this you’ll find that the storyline is just about enough to keep you reading. This is probably only true if you are already a fan of the character, but on the whole the character deserved so much better. On that note, I’ll leave you with the most ridiculous panel of them all.
Words: Jeff Lindsay
Art: Dalibor Talajíc
Colours: Ive Svorcina