How do you take what is arguably the best urban fantasy book series ever written and make it better? Well, you create a comic series to help tell some of the other stories that didn’t make it into the books, that’s how! The Dresden Files: War Cry #3 marks the center of this story which takes place directly after the novel Dead Beat. And as usual, Harry Dresden is in a pickle, only this time he’s not completely to blame.
in the first two issues we see Harry and his three proteges en route to defend a group of scholars in the Midwest. Arriving on the scene a little late, they are almost immediately set upon by Red Court vampires. Hundreds of them, as a matter of fact. Harry being Harry, he notices that the scholars, the White Council’s Venatori Umbrorum allies, are adamant in their refusal to retreat. Upon searching the building, they discover why: there is a Shoggoth in the cellar. The supernatural equivalent of nuclear armament, this creature exists to feed and destroy and is outlawed on pain of death. And that’s where this issue picks up, with Harry changing his game plan just a tad.
This week saw the release of Cold Days, book fourteen in what is arguably the greatest urban fantasy series of all time. I want to gush and talk about all the greatness that I bore witness to by reading this novel…but I cannot. That wouldn’t be a review, it would be a spoiler fest because this book upended the entire Dresden Files universe. Jim Butcher created a masterpiece of intrigue and adventure. Again.
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard/private investigator, is back. And back in a major way. As the new Winter Knight for the Unseelie Court, he is Mab’s right hand man. Harry finds himself with ridiculous amounts of power that augment his own innate magical abilities, which is impressive considering how much he is feared already. Mab definitely has plans for him, though. Plans that he may or may not be carrying out.
If there is trouble to get into, Harry Dresden will find it. This month in Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Fool Moon #5, Harry most certainly manages to get caught right in the middle… as usual. One of the key action parts of this storyline (yes, it’s based on a book that I freaking LOVED!) takes place in this issue and Chicago’s only practicing wizard finds himself between a rock (not “The Rock,” as in Alcatraz, though the reference was intended) and a werewolf. Well, he tangles with a loup-garou at a police station, anyway.
Let me start by saying I love everything Jim Butcher has written. This was no exception. Obviously, the story was slimmed down and adapted to comic form but the source material is still there. Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Fool Moon #4 is all about Harry Dresden and Tera West finding MacFinn after his transformation into a loup garou (a very nasty type of lycanthrope). Of course, with Harry, nothing is ever simple.
A bit of confusion leads Tera to attempt to attack Harry. He, however, doesn’t have time for it and decides to avoid the confrontation. Quickly realizing the police are looking for them, they decide to split up after finding MacFinn. Unfortunately, MacFinn gets caught…which leads Harry to calling his almost-girlfriend, Susan, for help.
Ghost Story, book 13 of the Dresden Files was extraordinary. And that is saying something considering the fact that I have yet to read a book by Jim Butcher that wasn’t great. But how often do you get to see the protagonist of a book as a ghost? I was really scared for Harry Dresden, what with the prior book having ended with him sinking into the water after being shot. That’s not exactly a healthy prospect for Chicago’s only practicing wizard detective.
Our story starts six months after the last book ends. Chicago has changed immensely during Harry’s absence… and certainly not for the better. The supernatural creatures that once avoided the town have converged upon the Windy City after it became known that Dresden had disappeared. His friends have done their best to protect the citizens, but they don’t have the resources that he did, certainly not the sheer power that he wielded. A lot of other things have changed as well, like his inability to communicate with virtually everyone around him. Luckily, Harry manages to gain the assistance of some old, and unlikely, acquaintances. Conspicuously absent were Thomas, Michael, Elaine, Marcone, and the entire White Council, though they were all referenced at one point or another. My heart hurt a little for the way Murphy and Molly were portrayed in this book. Those last few months were unkind to them both, unfortunately.