I don’t know about you, but one of the required books I read for my Literature Class in High School was Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Right away when I saw that Bluewater was doing a modern adaptation of Wilde’s classic novel, I was suddenly given flashbacks to my time in class studying all the hidden subtexts and Faustian themes the book had. Going into that book I never thought it would suddenly change and twist into such a dark and gothic story that it did. It’s one of those books all writers and fans of literature should read. So how does Bluewater’s new adaptation measure up to Wilde’s? Well, it’s hard to say really. Like Wilde’s original story, the writers of this book added a twist I didn’t even expect when I started to read it.
This is just the first issue of what will be a mini-series. The book is written by Darren Davis and Scott Davis. The writing duo has done a great job at modernizing this old story and has sort of created a sequel to the classic tale instead of really doing a modern adaptation, so essentially defying the expectations of a standard modern adaptation which was what I was really expecting. In this story we find out that the Gray’s are a cursed family. We meet the great, great, great heir to Dorian Grays line. He soon finds out that the personal demons that have been plaguing him is a real supernatural force. These demons called the Morbi have not only plagued the Grays but many of society’s wealthiest families. Dorian will soon launch an ongoing crusade against these demons to save his soul.
Accompanying the story is fantastic artist Federico De Luca. His artwork has an amazing, fluid, realistic look to it. He elevates the story to a greater level with his style and layout. I don’t want to put anything against the writers of the comic, but Federico’s work on this book is one of my favorite things about it. I want to pick up any book he draws in the future. Not only does he illustrate the pages, but he’s only the colorist. His talent oozes through every page.
Since this is just the first issue, a lot of time is spent on setting up all the characters and situation. You actually don’t even need to have read Wilde’s original novel to understand what’s going on, but really, if you haven’t read that book you should anyway. You kids should read classic novels instead of some of the tripe kids call novels these days. Here’s a quick recap of that novel encase any of you young ones don’t know. The novel tells the story of a young man named Dorian Gray who becomes the portrait subject of artist Basil Hallward. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian sells his soul so the portrait would age instead of him. When this happens, Dorian’s life spirals out of control as he slowly loses control over everything and everyone in his life. I don’t want to give away the ending of the book, so that’s about as all I’ll say about that. We get a lot of references to these events in this comic, and the demonic portrait from the book does make an appearance in the comic, but again you don’t have to read that book to understand the comic. The writers do a great job incorporating references nicely.
I suggest this book to any fan of the original novel. The art is fantastic and the story is engaging, you should check it out! It’s currently available from Bluewater productions. I give this a solid “A.”
DORIAN GRAY #1
Writers-Darren and Scott Davis
Artist-Federico De Luca