Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review - The Librarians #1 (DynamiteComics)


"What could possibly explain their presence?"

The world is full of mysteries, some of which demand teams with a unique set of skills to get to the bottom of things. One of those teams is found in The Librarians #1 from Dynamite Comics. The issue is written by Will Pfeifer, illustrated by Rodney Buchemi, colored by Weslei Manuel and lettered by Troy Peteri.

Way back in the swinging '70s, movie producer Sol Schick was the guy behind such cheesy classics as "Quarry: Bigfoot!," Noah's Ark: Found at Last!" and "Heavenly Visitors from the Hell Above." But when he's murdered - at a film festival! - with a piece of Noah's Ark! - THE LIBRARIANS are drawn into the mystery. Can their combination of special skills, obsessive curiosity and knowledge of forgotten lore figure out who - or what - spelled doom for Schick? And as they delve deeper into his past, is it possible that things are not as they seem and that all his crazy, wild movie...were telling the truth?

While The Librarians is firmly established as a show, Pfiefer doesn't necessarily treat The Librarians #1 as an extension of that universe. Pfiefer's approach makes the book much more accessible in that regard in that it doesn't assume the reader knows the entirety of what makes the franchise tick. The characters are introduced in a way that's not forced and Pfiefer works in quick summations of each of them to bring the reader up to speed on their dynamic. From there, Pfiefer paces the book beautifully, bringing the team together to figure out the intricacies of Schick's murder and presenting them with a pretty strange scenario to contend with by the end of the issue. And the path to that ending is fraught with plenty of espionage-like scenarios that has the team exchanging rapid-fire dialogue that constantly amuses the reader.

Buchemi does a great job with the artwork as he gives the characters looks that strongly resemble their show counterparts. The style used relies on bold, concise lines to give each of the characters weight that further ties them to the characters on the show. Buchemi's panel layouts are also active as he strays from a standard format to offer insets, overlays and the characters themselves existing outside the lines. Facial expressions are tremendous throughout thanks to Buchemi ensuring that each character's face effectively conveys their emotion at the time. Manuel's colors cast the book in orange and gray tints in a way that firmly grounds it as a pretty imaginative work.

The Librarians #1 is a solid adaptation of another medium that's also very friendly to new readers. Each of the characters get plenty of page-time as they delve deeper into the murder of an adventuring movie producer. Pfiefer's script is reader friendly and offers a great introduction to the characters and their latest mystery. Buchemi's artwork is a great fit for the book as well, effectively capturing the essence of the show on the pages. The Librarians #1 is definitely worth reading for fans of the show, but it's also accessible enough for new readers to jump right in as well.

The Librarians #1 is available now.

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