Comic Review: Penny Dreadful #3

“The dead must be returned to their ancestors.”

Synopsis: In Penny Dreadful #3, the veil is lifted on the unholy events that took place in Africa that bound together the lives of Sir Malcolm and Sembene. On an expedition to seek the source of the Nile, they witnessed nightmarish scenes that left their mark forevermore… and revealed the power of the supernatural world.

Review: “The dead must be returned to their ancestors.”

Penny Dreadful #3 was my favorite issue of this story so far. As my readers may recall, I hoped that the final panel of the previous chapter implied African flashbacks. I wasn’t disappointed. Writers Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King, and Krysty Wilson-Cairns treated readers to an old-school supernatural revenge play.

Leaving his son, Peter, to die alone and burying him on foreign soil were exactly the wrong things to do. As he is an arrogant man in a gothic narrative, Sir Malcolm did them. I could hear Timothy Dalton’s voice through Sir Malcolm’s cold threats and eventual defiant resignation.

Throughout it all, Sembene is Malcolm’s perfect foil. He saves Sir Malcolm in order to redeem himself, as both men cycle through shared pain. Moreover, I now grasped Sembene’s stoicism. He understood, before anyone else, that Sir Malcolm and Vanessa were enduring different facets of the same curse.

The colors were key.

The revenge play within Penny Dreadful #3 wouldn’t have been visceral and effective without Louie De Martinis art. The colors were key. De Martinis employed calm blues and greens to emphasize the order before the chaos.

The two action sequences central to that chaos were the highlights. The crocodile attack was a marvelous frenzy of bright yellows and reds. Then, De Martinis used purples, grays, and reds to drive home the horror of Peter’s lion trap and his implacable rage.

The bottom line

Penny Dreadful #3 justified this comic in ways that the rehash of the first issue did not. I look forward to the remaining installments.

Writers: Andrew Hinderaker, Chris King, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Artist: Louie De Martinis

Publisher: Titan Comics

Penny Dreadful #3
  • Story, Art
  • Nothing bad
  • Story
  • Art
  • Lettering

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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