Review: The Dresden Files Ghoul Goblin #4
A small, isolated Midwestern town is being terrorized by a pair of the Nevernever’s most vile creatures, who’ve managed to decimate the star-crossed Talbot family. Harry’s sworn to protect the survivors and end the curse-something that can only be accomplished if he can convince them to take refuge in what amounts to a supernatural fortress. And if the ancient guardian spirit he’s summoned doesn’t kill him first…and if the local cops don’t toss him into a jail cell…
The new Dresden Files miniseries continues this week with the release of Ghoul Goblin #4. The story is written by Mark Powers with Dresden creator Jim Butcher. Joseph Cooper provides pencils with Mohan handling colors. Bill Tortolini rounds out the cast with lettering. This issue starts to show us a few more of the puzzle pieces, but is it a picture worth finishing?
Harry is in the woods to have his meeting with the ancient Naga, a giant serpent, to try and get information about what the mystical being knows regarding the Ghoul and Goblins attack on the Talbot family. Harry knows the two creatures are gunning for the family, but he doesn’t know why and he doesn’t know which of the Talbot’s is next. The Nagar gives him a warning that Harry’s involvement could make one of the parties break the Unseelie Accords (the treaty maintaining the peace between members of the Nevernever) and if that happens Harry will die. The Naga does give Harry information on which Talbot family member is the next on the list. With the new information and some of the mystery starting to make sense, Harry redoubles his efforts to try and save the remaining Talbots from meeting the same fate as their older siblings. He gets three of the four to come back to the giant magically protected compound their brother Joseph built. Harry can use a little of his own powers to make it even safer. However the fourth Talbot, Alex, won’t come. Harry and deputy Pres have to be Alex’s “guardian angels” since Alex’s name is the next on the list. The duo keep their eyes on the young man as he goes into the bowling alley, but the appearance of Pres’ gal pal complicates things. She’s flirting with the young Talbot. Is she cheating on Pres or are her intentions more sinister?
Powers and Butcher craft a strong issue. This time around we start to get a lot more answers to the questions we’ve had asked in the previous issues. We know who the Ghoul and Goblin are and we know why they’re after the Talbot family. Dresden puts most all of the pieces together and now it’s a race to protect the family and stop the two warring creatures. There is a lot of narration by Harry, sometimes delving into the unnecessary category. The art can show a great majority of the things he’s narrating without having to give way to several boxes of dialogue. It works for the Dresden books, but it seems a little overkill for the comic. Cooper’s pencils are top notch. There have been a few things off in the past issues, but this time everything seems to be ironed out and running along smoothly. Mohan’s colors get a chance to shine with some more action and mystical elements coming into play.
Bottom Line: Ghoul Goblin is a great entry into the Dresden mythology. The series as a whole has been enjoyable, but this one is probably one of the stronger issues. This seems to be the turning point where everything has come together and now it’s about making sure Dresden can solve the case and protect those in danger. Things have really been turned up a notch 4/5