Rivers of London: Detective Stories #1 flows with ease
Writers: Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel
Artist: Lee Sullivan
Cover: Mack Chater (The Wire Homage), Lee Sullivan (CSI: Miami Homage), Andrea Boccardo & Barbara Nosenzo (Law and Order Homage), Emma Vieceli (Nice Guys Homage), Caspar Wijngaard (Luther Homage)
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
The men and women of the London Police are assigned with investigating the ritualistic murder of a goat. Normally Police Constable Peter Grant wouldn’t be called to investigate this assignment. The dead animal is probably the result of some punk kids trying to recreate something they saw in a movie. Steal a goat from a petting zoo. Douse the poor animal with petrol. Watch it burn. Only, there’s no evidence of any try of accelerant- well at least any that isn’t magical…
Law & Magic
Rivers of London: Detective Stories is the latest miniseries from Titan Books based on the Rivers of London novels. Written by former Classic Doctor Who screenwriter, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London follows PC Peter Grant as he solves supernatural related crime throughout the capital city of the British Crown. Along with being a detective in training, PC Grant also happens to be an apprentice wizard. Due to his multiple talents, Grant is recruited into the Folly.
The Folly is a branch of the British law enforcement that takes on the cases that keep the toughest of coppers awake at night. In this opening chapter, Grant is just about to undergo his exams. But first, he must pass a performance review with a tough as nails assessor named Detective Inspector Chopra.
Under The Influence
Rivers of London was a magical book that draws it’s inspiration from many sources. The idea of the Folly is like the BPRD only without hellish creatures doing the investigating. The police procedurals and the very British use of slang reminds you of shows like Broadchurch or Luther. Plus, there’s a whimsical charm that harkens back to Pratchett’s Discworld series. There’s actual proof of that as this book has a reference to Lord Vetinari! What other series do that?
Only Nixon Can Go to China
This book is co-written by series creator Ben Aaronvitch. By having the mastermind behind the Rivers of London books crafting this tale was a smart idea on Titan Books part. Nobody’s going to do justice to your franchise than yourself! Plus, it helps when you co-writer is a kindred spirit. Assisting Aaronvitch is fellow Doctor Who screenwriting alum Andrew Cartmel.
There’s at least 2 other minis based on the series of novels, which currently numbers in the half dozen. You don’t have to have read any them to understand or enjoy this book. That’s a very good thing as the art, while good, is also quite generic.
WHOoooooo Are You?
Lee Sullivan (Transformers Time Wars) is on duty as the Rivers of London sketch artist. Sullivan’s vision of the scenery of London is quite stunning. Yet, as Rivers has never been done as a TV series or movie (YET!) So if you are not familiar with the other comics, with Sullivan’s style there is no way to know who was who. Thankfully, Aaronvitch and Cartmel make the right decision to include back story and character introductions for many of the key players. This helps the uninitiated reader to have no problem following the story at all since most of the characters look very one note in comics form.
Though this is the first of a new miniseries, the story has an acceptable enough ending. There is no true cliffhangers at issue’s end. So if the readers only wanted to go as far the first issue and go no further without a sense of completion, they could. By why would you stop with a series that is an intriguing and magical as this? Detective Stories is a book that deserves further investigation!
Art: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Story: 5 out of 5 Stars.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 Stars.