Ever since I started reading Martin's "A Song of Ice & Fire" series (aka, "Game of Thrones"), I've had a soft spot in my heart for the dude. And his storytelling skills have only been honed over time, and translate well into comic form. "Doorways" just backs that feeling up, 100%.
This one-off comic seems a bit like "Witchblade" with all of the girls with metal limbs walking around, but it's definitely nowhere near that series when it comes to plot. I kind of hope there's more to this series, because I was left with so many unanswered questions after I finished reading this volume, like: why is Cat running (aside from her quest for freedom)? And why to Past-Earth? Was it just an accident? Or was it planned? What exactly are the creatures that are pursuing her, and where are they from? What time are they from? It left me wanting to know all about this new world that Martin created, and that made it feel unfinished.
This short volume was just enough to whet my whistle after some deeper reading done earlier in the week (and it was kind of a bad week this past week), just enough to kind of make me relax and enjoy the ride. Martin is good with putting his readers at ease into the worlds he creates, even if they're not at ease with what happens within them. This is one of the reasons why I love his work.
Looking for a little bit of sci-fi fun? Check out "Doorways" and enjoy Martin's wacky new world.
Way back when, before The Song of Ice and Fire series, bestselling author George R. R Martin was a big guy in Hollywood, working on the new Twilight Zone series, as well as a writer for the Beauty and the Beast TV series. Doorways is the show that very much almost, but ultimately never was. The pilot was filmed and in the process of final editing, but was never given a slot for airing . . . disappearing into the vault of dead shows. Martin still feels sad and very attached to this story, as he indicates in his introduction. Now he has brought it back to life, in a sense, with art from Stefano Martino, in the form of a graphic novel.
The story opens with the main character, Dr. Thomas Mason, who is an ordinary man with an ordinary wife living in an ordinary life. But all that changes when a doorway opens up in the fabric of reality and an incredible, young woman named Cat steps into his life and steals his mind and perhaps his heart, as he is dragged along on the adventure of his life. Cat has the ability to travel through these doorways, taking one to different places in time and space within the blink of an eye. The problem is that there are beings after Cat, looking to stop and kill her, so she has to keep running. With Mason's help she passes through a doorway and Mason finds himself potentially sealed off from his normal life in his normal world forever, but he doesn't have time to waste, as there are creatures on his tail looking to wipe him out.
The story of Doorways is compelling, in the great science fiction way that Martin has delivered before, with a harsh and detailed art style from Martino, sucking you right into the story. The question remains if there will be any more stories to tell after this volume . . . only time will tell.
Although I don't read too many graphic novels, I did read quite a few comics when I was a kid. I don't know if it was because the story for Doorways was originally intended for a television series, or if George R.R. Martin's story-telling skills raised the level a bit, or if I'm just slowly becoming more excepting of this medium as an actual graphic novel instead of just a comic book, but I enjoyed my experience with Doorways more than I have with any graphic novel that I've read to this point.
The story is a fun sci-fi/fantasy romp that takes the reader along with the characters on a run for their lives. The action starts up pretty quickly and doesn't really let up until the end. I think that one of the things that I liked the most is that Martin doesn't ever stop the story to explain to the reader exactly what is going on, there is no flash-back sequence or explanation from a narrator of what has happened in these characters' pasts, the reader just gets bits and pieces from the characters themselves as the story progresses.
My only complaint with this particular book is that it is a bit short and feels a little incomplete. I realize that this is based on the screenplay for a television pilot that was never aired and that Martin most probably didn't put a whole lot into expanding the story once it got dropped, but when he decided to move forward in turning it out in graphic novel format, there could have been a bit added to give it a more satisfying conclusion even if there are plans to continue the series.
This is the beginning of something great. Doorways has possibilities as a continuing series that I will read. George R.R. Martin has created a world that I desperately want to understand more. This universe has so much room to grow, provides limitless possibilities for storytelling, and has a core of characters that are sympathetic. Great Sci-Fi, but more importantly, great story.
The artwork is attractive and expressive, with color that is striking. Stefano Martino is a name to watch for in the future.