I came into Down Town without having read any of the Dresden Files series. As an introduction to the series, it stands on its own without losing the uninitiated reader. Yes, there is likely a lot of undercurrent between the characters that would have added to the depth of the story. But all the same, I had no problem following the plot and understanding the characters and their personalities/motivations.
Story: A killer is on the loose, using a fearsome ‘weapon’, and Chicago Wizard Harry Dresden is on the case. Aided by new apprentice molly and pseudo-dog Mouse, Harry will have to descend into the depth of Chicago’s underworld in order to track a killer and stop more murders from happening.
Because this is a story based on a novelized series (of which we have a completed arc here), it is a bit wordy/talky/dialogue heavy. The text pushes the story more-so than the illustrations. In fact, while the illustrations are serviceable I can’t say that the wowed or created a synergy with the story. If I was underwhelmed, it was likely in the standard-fare hyper-saturated digital comic style. It could have used more of a POV in the art.
The story moves along neatly and characters are explained enough that I wasn’t lost despite the large number introduced. Mostly, we have a bunch of cameos ‘checking in’ while Harry goes about his business. A treat for fans of the series, to be sure, but a lot of filler otherwise.
The story had some surprises; I especially appreciated that victim #3 reacted intelligently and also honestly. It added an unexpected gravitas to illustrations that did feel a bit ‘cartoony’. I’ve read too many graphic novels where side characters/extras ended up one-dimensional and quickly glossed over. That wasn’t the case here, fortunately.
In all, I enjoyed Down Town and think it is a good introduction to the series. I had a feel for the sarcastic, wise cracking Harry Dresden character as well as the environs and interesting supernaturals with whom he interacts. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.