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Preview of Eureka vol. 2: Dormant Gene

Royal Nonesuch takes a look at the latest volume of Boom! Studios' Eureka, based on Syfy's hit original series.


Preview:

EUREKA VOL. 2: DORMANT GENE 
Written by Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia, Jonathan L. Davis 
Drawn by Mark Dos Santos 
SC, 112 pgs, FC, SRP: $16.99 
ISBN13: 978-1-934506-96-7 

Sci-Fi Channel’s smash hit show returns in this new trade compiling all the issues of the critically acclaimed, fan-favorite series masterminded by the creators of the show and told completely in continuity! EUREKA creators Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia are joined by writer Jonathan L. Davis (THE DUKES OF HAZZARD) with a story centering on the kids of Eureka High. Can Zoe find out why all her classmates are going goth? Read this volume and find out. 


Review:



Adaptations and licensed material have a tough task ahead of them: appeal to the pre-existing fans of the property while doing the same for those who have no familiarity with it.  This contrary nature can often lead to a comic book falling short creatively.  Many of these types of comics try to serve two masters, but only end up failing both.  

There are ways to avoid this, of course.  Usually, as in most things, the more subtle the better.  Miles of exposition is simply wearying to the reader, while jumping in feet first leads to readers who are completely lost.  Boom! Studios has picked up a lot of licenses recently, so Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid needs to make sure that his writers are striking a good balance every time out.  That's where Eureka vol.2: Dormant Gene comes in.


Story:

Not only can the second volume of Boom!'s Eureka be read without having seen the television show it's based on, it can be enjoyed without even having read the first volume.  The world of Eureka is pleasantly established within the first few pages via the narrative itself in a most unobtrusive way. Once that's out of the way, the story is a quick, breezy read that's charmingly engaging and filled with clever dialogue and cultural references.  The premise of a regular, everyday father and daughter taking up residence in a town filled entirely with super scientists is wonderful, and is presented here in a compelling way.  

In addition to appealing to two readership bases, writer Jonathan L. Davis, teaming up with Eureka creators Andrew Cosby and Jamie Paglia, has another tough job, namely writing a story that focuses largely on teenage characters that feels natural. Comics history is filled with unfortunate instances of high schoolers written by stuffy old guys who have no idea what the kids these days are going on about.  Thankfully, that's not the case here, as Zoe, Gene, and the rest of the teens at Tesla High School are very believable, even with their advanced scientific intelligence.  The launchpad of the story revolves around high schoolers becoming obsessed with a new series of supernatural books called "Sundown," and finding an unconventional way to adopt the style of this new teen phenomenon, which leads to disastrous results.  It's a cute setup, and it's executed nicely.      

The first issue is narrated by one of the central characters of the series, Zoe, the normal girl who is just trying to fit into a school filled with super geniuses.  The second issue focuses on Gene, one of said geniuses who has a crush on Zoe.  The third issue has a more omniscient voice, while the last one shifts back to Zoe's point of view.  The shift in point of view is a bit jarring at first, but once the story has unfolded, the structure ends up serving the narrative very well.    


Art:

The problems inherent in a licensed property do show up in the art.  Mark Dos Santos does a great job in terms of storytelling and overall flow, but the problem is in the figure work.  Although very competent, the art here is striving for likenesses, since these characters were all created for the screen. As a result, they tend to come off stiff and lifeless in certain spots.  There are several individual panels arrayed throughout the book where characters are not interacting with their environments naturally. That's not to say that the art is completely photorealistic--dos Santos is a far cry from Greg Land, after all.  His art trends more toward the cartoony expressiveness of Amanda Conner than anything else (and the colors by Digikore Studios recall Laura Allred).  If anything, the need to achieve this resemblance to actors hinders the artist, who could do great work if he could cut loose a little bit. In fact, the art in the book is at its best when dos Santos is free to simply illustrate.  It must be tough to negotiate the necessities of licensing.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, Eureka vol. 2: Dormant Gene is a light, but fun read.  It's structured well enough for Eureka non-fans, and according to the press materials, it takes place within the continuity of the show, so hopefully fans can enjoy this as well.  It also works well for older and younger readers alike.  


Score:

7.5 of 10


Eureka: Dormant Gene Cover









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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch


As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.
 

 


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