52 Pick-Up Week 45:
No one will ever accuse me of being a mark for Mike Carey. Whether we’re talking about his awful “Children of the Vault” stories in the X-books or his pointless, plodding Ultimate Fantastic Four run, his work on mainstream super hero comics has left me wanting – wanting a different writer on the books I’m reading. You can imagine when I heard all sorts of praise for The Unwritten, I was skeptical. I knew nothing about it but the fact that Carey was writing it, but I thought “Let’s give it a go.”
So far? I sure am glad I listened. I’m only about two issues in, admittedly, but thus far? It’s brilliant!
The long and the short of it? Tom Taylor’s father wrote fantasy novels wherein the protagonist was modeled after Tom himself. Tommy had mystical adventures and enemies to match, and thirteen volumes outlining his exploits. Now? Tom’s father is missing, and Tom works the convention circuit doing signings for fans of his fathers’ work. That is, until Tom’s true identity is called into question.
Conspiracy, mystery, and mysticism blend together to form the foundation of the book. Gross’s pencils bring this all to life with distinct characters and dynamic panel lay out. A book that might have been overwrought and obtuse in the hands of a different creative team is instead an amazingly easy and engaging read. Tom’s penchant for geographical trivia is sure to factor into things down the line. Until then, it’s amusing at the very least. And the villains? Delightfully shrouded in secrecy. Two issues in, there’s been nothing not to like. I hope this continues to be the case.
The Unwritten gets 5 out of 5 compass rose tattoos
For fans of just about anything from Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes, The Unwritten should hold some appeal.