In the small town of Iping, a stranger has arrived. This stranger, wrapped in bandages and covered in clothing from head to toe, is quite mysterious and often rude and uncooperative. Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the town’s worries, as once the stranger’s secret is out, they townfolk immediately cast him out.
But it’s not the last time they’ll see the stranger, and next time, he intends to come back with a vengeance.
The tl;dr Review:
As far as graphic novel adaptations go, this recreates the tale quite well. It’s genuinely frightening to think about what kind of evil an invisible foe is capable of, and it’s depicted disturbingly well here.
This adaptation could actually cause sleepless nights for the easily scared, as both Dobbs (the writer) and Christopher Regnault (the artist) capture the pure terror that is an unseen assailant.
I mean, how do you fight what you can’t see?
The Full Review:
I figured since the Blumhouse Invisible Man movie comes out this month, I might as well read an adaptation of the original, and thankfully I found one that does quite the great job.
Dobbs and Regnault have captured the fear and insanity of the iconic Invisible Man quite well. I was even getting mild doses of pre-modern Universal here. It’s a horror story in full form, and one that hits on all the right notes.
One thing I want to point out with the Invisible Man story is that, well, this is pretty much a living ghost story, but this ghost has all its faculties and, as you’ve seen in previous adaptations, is quite capable of some very evil deeds. There’s always this psychotic sexual deviancy, as well as the murderous fits of rage, but what’s really unsettling is just how powerless one can be to stop what they can’t see.
I mean, how do you try to fight someone who can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you’re really creative and just throw paint at them or something).
What Dobbs and Regnault have done here is quite impressive, capturing the dark and mysterious tone of the story and the equally disturbing and mysterious nature of Dr. Griffin, a man who has been driven mad by his most infamous accomplishment.
“Is the science plausible?”
As an amateur science nerd, yes and no. You can’t make yourself see through but you can bend light and/or reflect it.
But this isn’t a scientific debate on the subject, it’s a review.
My point being that while the science is at best, pseudo-science, it’s still an interesting idea to explore, and that’s exactly what this adaptation does quite well, and quite faithfully. The original book, which the 1933 movie is based on, also did this quite well, delving into some of the ideas proposed and even capturing some of the desperation and madness that accompanied it. The psychology is also quite plausible, as something like this would very probably make the person who invented it very insane.
What I wanted to talk about specifically though is the artwork. I mean, even though the character is invisible, you still want to know when he’s there and when he’s not, and both Dobbs and Regnault have done that quite well, often giving clues to the reader.
The panic and paranoia of the townsfolk is also, likewise, depicted very well here. With no one knowing how to fight their enemy, their behaviour makes sense as they try their best to rid themselves of this unseen foe.
Even the backstory is done quite well, and we’re given insight into this man who, by all accounts, has no idea how to handle his newfound power, and thus begins to become devoured by it.
You can tell that this adaptation was a passion project for the two, who wanted to adapt the source material properly and with care, while also exploring creative bounds with which to give Griffin his terrifying presence. Or, I guess in this case, terrifying unseen presence.
As far as the graphic novel adaptation goes, it’s quite entertaining, very engaging, and keeps you on your toes until the very end. There are some brutal panels throughout, and their disturbing nature is fully captured.