This Dark Horse title is a tie-in comic that is helping to world build for the up-coming movie “Let Me In,” which in turn is based on the fantastic novel “Let The Right One In.” It is a tale set in 1982 in middle America. It is going to expand the character of the lead vampire girl and her human man-servant as they quest to find her blood. They’re calling this an essential piece of the entire experience but I have to disagree, so far. This comic isn’t bad but it doesn’t offer much that is good. I can’t help but think it’ll read better in trade as they focus on the audience more likely to buy it collected than monthly.
The original book is a phenomenal piece of writing and something that should be read, whether you do or don’t like the comic or the movie. The prose carries you along through the minds of the characters and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. This comic, however, does not employ any narrative captions and that is a truly missed opportunity. You don’t expect the comic writer to ape the style of the original author but placing the tone in the same world would have gone a long way to bridging this to the success of the source material.
As a prelude, I want to learn more about the main characters in focus. Instead, we are offered a good idea of the town they resided in 30 years ago and a deep study of the real estate agent trying to buy their land. I completely get him as a character but I’d much rather understand the people I actually read this comic to learn about. It feels like a massive tangent and while it sets up the story it doesn’t give me what I want. The setting should be simple; The main reactions are what I want.
Reynolds is in a tough spot because he’s adapting visuals from a movie. However, he has plenty of space to move because this tale is set earlier (though the vampiric lead would not have changed) and the movie hasn’t come out yet so the faces of the actors aren’t burnt onto our retinas just yet. Reynolds manages to make his characters not look photo referenced and so they are more free to act. He scratches the landscape well and Stewart’s colors certainly help to make this prelude feel like an older tale.
As a first issue, it would have been nice to get dropped into the tale in media res. Show us exactly what sort of death dealers we are reading about. Instead, this issue spins its wheels setting up external factors effectively but not in the direction that we want from this title. We don’t get into the minds of the characters, we don’t get a sense of anything too new here, and it’s a shame because these characters are interesting. Instead, this just feels like a pretty generic vampire tale, thinly written, and focused in the wrong direction. It does what it does well, but it’s not doing much that matches what the comic should.