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Fringe Paperback – December 22, 2009
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It does have some great back story to Walter and belly, but maybe no more then an after thought to the real story arc. Bottom line, if you love the series, and you can read, then you should like this.
That said, as a real Fringe fan I thought this comic would give me some insight into the series, some background. It did not and was a disappointment.
1. Poorly written. The show is better written. These stories don't really go anywhere, they have holes in them, and they're dumb.
2. The show has a certain formula. Most of the time there is a "case per episode" and the stories center around the "family" of main characters which you grow to love over the series. These stories don't have the characters from the show in them (except for the first story about Walt Bishop's early days). And we are essentially just witnessing the beginnings of or the circumstances a case. ((quick SPOILER ALERT - and nothing is solved; we just see weird stuff happen and are supposed to be awed and amazed, but no. dey be dumb. END SPOILER))
3. The art is subpar (or the coloring is). What I mean is, in the first story, it's actually pretty hard to tell anyone apart, especially Bishop and Bell. It's so bad, that at one point the colorist actually mixes up the coloring on the two characters. Bishop has blond hair and a purple shirt, Bell has brown hair and a green shirt. And half way through their conversation, all these colors switch and Bell has blonde hair and a purple shirt and Bishop has brown hair and a green shirt. Dat jus dumb!
Anyway. You may like this book, but just because you're a fan of the show does not mean that you are guaranteed to like it. It essentially has nothing to do with the show whatsoever. And the story about Bishop's past isn't worth it either.
This just stinks! "But you don't have to take my word for it!"
Unfortunately, if you aren't into the show, you won't find much to appeal to you here. The characters here really rely on your knowledge of the show for their life. The flip side of this is that longtime fans of the TV show will find familiar faces here.
The first half of the book details the early relationship between Walter Bishop, portrayed brilliantly in the show by John Noble, and William Bell, played on the screen by Leonard Nimoy. In the seventies they share a lab at Harvard and together are able to bend the very laws of the universe out of shape before Bishop is committed and Bell goes on to found the megacorporation Massive Dynamic. Their adventures here are very fun, and occasionally the writers hit their stride and you can hear John Noble deliver the lines on the page. Other times, it falls flat. Unfortunately, I think this was published before we had actually met Bell in the show (He was missing for a long time) and thus knew he was Leonard Nimoy--the Bell in the book doesn't really look a thing like him.
The second half of the book details several "Fringe events" occuring within the world of Fringe. Unfortunately, we don't get to see how things turn out either here or on the show--a number of them are just kind of left unresolved. There's a segment involving mind-swapping, a man trying to reclaim his stolen briefcase with unexpected results, a child who kills whatever he touches, an astronaut on an experimental drug, and a reporter who gets more than she bargained for when she begins investigating Massive Dynamic.....
Tom Mandrake's art throughout the book is consistant, if lackluster. Its not bad, its just not particularly outstanding. The writing, on the other hand, is spotty--either its good or its bad. This inconsistancy is understandable, given the fact that its written by a committee. The Bell And Bishop segment is apparently broken up into chapters with a different production team (these breaks are only apparent on the credits page--the chapter breaks don't appear in the book itself). Writers include Zack Whedon on one segment, Julia Cho, Mike Johnson, Alex Katsnelson, Danielle DiSpaltro, Justin Doble, Matthew Pitts, and Kim Cavyan.