Over on the Twitter, we're posting reviews of new issues and books. The idea is that the review has to fit into one screenshot of our phones and that screenshot is the review that gets posted to social media. It's a fun way to approach single-issue reviews. You can follow us on Twitter (@FromCovToCov) to see them when they're posted and we'll be posting them here as well!
Here's what we have this week:
- Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 2
- Parker Girls #1
Click on the header link of each review to see more preview art from the book.
Fortunately, if you had the opportunity to read the first part of this adaptation, you know the quality of the publication both in its physical presentation of the classic and the faithfulness to the original story. It's impossible to bring everything into a comic adaptation, but Brian Herbert clearly knows the important notes, and he and Kevin Anderson achieve the appropriate balance.
What's most impressive is the amount of storytelling that is purely visual. That's something rather astounding for a sprawling novel. The source material rests firmly on big ideas, but Herbert and Anderson are content to allow Raul Allen and Patricia Martin to portray the landscape and lean into the world of Arrakis.
This type of storytelling leans into the concept of the setting being a character itself. I love when comics pick up this concept in general, and it's an essential component for any Dune adaptation. Not since Alexandre Tefenkgi's and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's work on Outpost Zero have I been this enamored with the way an adventure book handles its landscape.
I’ve seen enough movies to know that nothing good ever happens when a hapless man meets a beautiful woman on a beach.
The plots of one con and one murder interweave but never crossover in Terry Moore’s Parker Girls #1. A man who stole ten million dollars and a dead woman’s body washing up on a beach set the conflicts in this issue; both involving Parker Girls (and they’ll tell you there’s no such group) trying to exert their command over the situation. I’ll admit that I haven’t read a lot of Moore over the ages, losing track of SiP somewhere around the hallways point but his work there was about two women (Francine and Katchoo) reacting to the world around them. Here, Moore is telling the story about women trying to control the world around them, setting the agenda, and being the strength that’s needed.
This issue shows a world where the thieves, the killers, and the cops may think they control what’s happening but it’s the operatives like Kelly or Cherry Hammer (a great name for a flanneled secret agent) who are really directing events. There’s a force present when they’re on the page, a guiding hand manipulating the actions where they want them to go. This issue skirts the borders of an underworld where the Parker Girls (remember, they don’t exist) are the law. Or at least, they’re some kind of retribution in this world that Moore established in Strangers in Paradise.
Moore draws that strength and toughness in his characters. Always in charge; always in control, Kelly particularly in this issue is directing the momentum of this story without ever appearing to work at it. Moore shows her just subtly manipulating events to her purposes. How that control comes into conflict with a murder remains to be seen.