Authors: Jim Butcher & Mark Powers
Illustrators: Carlos Gomez & Sean Izaakse (Issue 4)
Inks: Anthony Fowler, Jr. (Issue 3)
Letterer: Bill Tortolini
Dresden Files: Wild Card #1 is a new series by Dynamite, presented in four issues here, about a rugged crime fighter – Wizard for Hire – called Harry Dresden, who is caught between supernatural forces in an alternative Chicago in trying to maintain the peace. The magicians, of which Dresden is one, wield varying amounts of power, but there is a dangerous one on the loose and on a crime spree, and the White Court of Vampires is currently the lesser of two evils, but seeing as they feed on human life forces, to varying degrees, it’s a risky world to live in.
The story begins with two girls trying in vain to escape the magical madman, and whose life forces are taken from them completely. Accompanied by detective Murphy and “gifted” friend, Molly, they take a trip to the morgue to find out what happened to the unfortunate young women. Not even Molly, who is able to read residual emotions and energy, can tell what happened to them because there is simply nothing left of them, and so Dresden seeks out the one in charge of the White Court, Lara. The madman continues to wreak havoc and kill people, with detective Murphy on the case, while Dresden seeks out Lara’s brother to help him find her, but is ambushed by a giant owl creature along the way. The White Court of Vampires turns out to be a family, run by Lara and her sisters, said to use their power of “allure” and beauty to disarm their victims before taking their life force.
There is non-stop action as cops are chased by villains and mavericks chase down all-powerful beings who simply don’t want to be bothered while they’re trying to have a good time. However when the powerful join forces, however reluctantly, things start to fall into place. There is also a notable mixing of genres within this one package; crime, super-hero comic, fantasy, even folklore. What is shown here is what can happen if all these worlds come together, and when individuals have a part of each world still within them and defining them as a person.
The artwork does a good job of illustrating this world which is both real and unreal, magical and brutal, mundane and bizarre. Sometimes a double check has to be done in order to confirm things like, yes, that is not only an owl pursuing a car at top speed, but that it is a giant owl the size of a small whale.
Coming in six volumes/issues all at once here, this is an impressive first edition. Also it is only #1 so it is worth tuning in to see what twists and turns an already substantial first offering will take next time.