A different look at comics, as female posters DarcieSomething and JazzyJessica34 review True Blood #1!
Credits & Solicit Info:
True Blood #1
Alan Ball, David Tischman & Mariah Huehner (w)
David Messina (a) J. Scott Campbell, Joe Corroney, Andrew Currie, David Messina (c)
Alan Ball's hit HBO series, the sensually sizzling story of the lives and loves of vampires, mind readers, and all manner of creatures, comes to IDW!
Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte's, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame. People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past-those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul! Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted, in a story co-plotted by TRUE BLOOD series creator Alan Ball, with a script by David Tischman (Bite Club) and Mariah Huehner, and lush art by David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown). First Issue special: an exclusive pullout gatefold poster by David Messina!
True Blood is the most popular sexy vampire franchise currently on television. Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, the television show is HBO's number one show and is one of the primary reasons for the recent vampire craze that has swept America. Trying to capitalize on the show's success, IDW has released a four issue miniseries written by television series head Alan Ball and drawn by David Messina. The miniseries features an untold story set in between seasons two and three, in which a new enemy threatens the lives of Sookie, Bill, Eric and the rest of the True Blood camp. Reading through the issue, I realized I had no idea what was going on in the comic, primarily because I didn't really know who any of the characters were. While I don't watch the television show, I do know two girls who do.
DarcieSomething and JazzyJessica34 are avid comic book readers, occasional Outhouse posters, and True Blood fans. Since both posters were more qualified to review the comic, I put the comic book down in front of them and got their thoughts on the first issue of the miniseries.
DarcieSomething didn't really like the issue. The plot had major holes ranging from minor details like when the antagonist, a tentacle monster named Ted, arrived at Merlotte's to why exactly he was indiscriminately killing off members of the bar that weren't part of the television show. "They don't explain what the monster is or why he's at the bar," she says. "Basically, they don't explain anything at it all." In addition, DarcieSomething was offput by the lack of background information in the story. As a fan of the television show that has yet to finish the second season on DVD, she disliked elements of the comic that referenced events that she hasn't seen yet. "There were several lines that just didn't make sense," she mentioned. "I was left asking why way more than I should." However, despite her misgivings, DarcieSomething didn't hate the comic. The art was decent and the characters were generally close to their television counterparts. She appreciated the fact that they were aiming for a different audience, but it wasn't what she hoped a True Blood comic would be. "Overall, it was an okay comic," DarcieSomething said. "I've read much worse."
JazzyJessica34 had a much kinder opinion of the comic. The plot moved fast, even if it required a knowledge of the characters from True Blood. However, the story didn't really hold her interest at all. "The plot didn't captivate me at all," JazzyJessica34 bemoaned. She also felt that the cliffhanger didn't really leave her with a feel of suspense. "I know Sookie and everyone else is going to live. There's no point to this comic in terms of importance to the television show," she stated. Additionally, she disliked the lack of plot elements from the books, something that the television series bases its season arcs on. Her opinion on the art were mixed as well. "I thought they did a very good job of turning the television characters into comic book characters, even if the art wasn't exactly anatomically correct," she stated. Overall, she agreed with DarcieSomething's general assessment that the comic was a mediocre one. "It wasn't good, but wasn't really bad."
Overall, both fans of the show were not impressed by the issue. Both noted the weak plot, the inconsistent art and the fact that it was largely dependent on having a strong knowledge of the television show to enjoy the issue. Both readers did appreciate the fact that they were trying to push new fans into the comic book industry and wanted the book to succeed for that very reason. However, they were disappointed that IDW couldn't put forth a stronger book to draw in new fans to both the show and comics in general.