Jude Terror reviews Tales From the Fringe, based on the future cult classic television show Fringe.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by JUSTIN DOBLE, ALEX KATSNELSON & ADAM GAINES • Art by FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO & SHAWN MOLL • Cover by DIEGO LATORRE • 1:10 Photo variant cover
Introducing an all-new 6-issue miniseries featuring tales set in the world of the hit TV series! In the first story, Peter Bishop is forced to choose between doing the right thing – saving a troubled young man pressed into service as a suicide bomber – or scoring a dream job. In the second story, a high school girl finds herself inexplicably transformed into an adult. Even more shocking, she also discovers she's an assassin!
* $3.99 US
On Sale June 23, 2010
I'm a little behind on my Fringe viewing, having not finished the first season yet. However, I do know enough to realize that Fringe is the type of show that is ideally suited to adaptation in the comics medium, with its episodic storytelling and its part science, part supernatural, all geek premise. Not surprisingly, there's a decent crossover audience between viewers of the show and comic book fans, so the production of a comic book is a great idea to both satiate viewers clamoring for more between seasons and even to bring new readers to the comic book format. On these two goals, Tales From the Fringe #1 delivers.
The comic aims to focus on the background of one of the characters from the show with each issue, with the first issue focusing on a short story from Peter Bishop's past. The story focuses on Bishop's morality, as he must choose between helping a misguided suicide bomber escape Baghdad, and securing a lucrative job for himself. The story ends with Bishop making the selfish choice, and suffering the resulting guilt.
The tale is short and doesn't go into much detail, but it does give us some insight into the character, his motivations, and how past mistakes affect his future actions during the show. That this is written by the writers of the television show is evident. The panels read like stills from an episode with words, a technique that I'm not personally a fan of. However, to fans of the show it will be an easy transition, as even the art, by Federico Dalloccchio is slick and polished like the television production. Tthe faces are very clean and iconic, giving the story a realistic feel without a lot of lines and detail getting in the way. It works in this setting.
The book also features a backup story about a young girl who tries a drug at a party and hallucinates a future where she is a trained assassin sent to kill her own mentor, only to wake up from the trip, leave the party, and get hit by a car driven by the man she was sent to kill. The story, with its twist ending, fits in perfectly with the Fringe mythos. Illustrated by Shawn Moll, the art here, like the last story, is clean and competent, if unspectacular.
Overall, this book adds nothing essential to the Fringe canon, but then again it doesn't really need to. In trade, this will make a fine addition to the shelf next to Fringe DVD sets, and for hardcore fans of a show with such a dedicated audience, the books will provide a monthly fix until the third season begins. I would like to see more cult TV shows get this kind of treatment in comics, and I would be interested in seeing the Fringe writers further hone their comics skills. Tales From the Fringe is not for everyone, but fans of the show will definitely not regret giving it a try.
Rating: WAIT FOR IT, unless you're a Fringe junkie, in which case BUY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.