Friday, October 16, 2009

torchwood: rift war

I almost think Torchwood works better as a comic than as a TV show. At least until recently, and the comic actually goes in the opposite direction of “Children of Earth”—it’s a bit more user-friendly, not all the sex and sharp edges we got from the first series (thank God), probably because being published in Torchwood Magazine, it had to contend with a teen/young adult audience. That’s my theory, anyway. Torchwood might even work better as a comic than Doctor Who, because in Doctor Who even if you split up the Doctor and companion(s), you can only have so many threads of the story going at once—whereas Torchwood (at least before the end of series 2) had a big team!

There are a couple of reasons why I loved this collection much more than I thought I would. First off, it has some great (and very distinctive) art by Paul Grist, SL Gallant, D’Israeli, and Brian Williamson. Grist is now drawing for DWM, and his very simple, cartoony style works well—especially for characters like Owen. I almost feel like “Making It Stranger” could be done in this style. SL Gallant is slightly more painterly. Willliamson is trippy, very graphic design/CGI/photorealistic. I like them all.

Also, as it’s Torchwood it’s set in Cardiff (mostly) and therefore I’m tickled pink when the Castle features, as does Queen’s Arcade (which doubled for London when the Autons attacked Jackie in “Rose”) and amusingly, there are dinosaurs in the Millennium Stadium. :-D There’s a lovely appearance from Rhys, and some good Cardiff in-jokes (GWEN: “Six hundred years of degenerate godless behavior.” JACK: “Cardiff on a Friday night”). Overall they’ve got the scripting right, though, as I said, the team are a lot less snippy with each other than I remember. And apparently Jack and I both share a fondness for Guy of Gisborne in black leather. :-D
The stories . . . are episodic and move at a nice pace. Nothing ground-breaking here, but fun. I’d recommend this volume over some Doctor Who graphic novel collections!

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