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Dexter #1 Review

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Dexter Morgan makes his comic debut! In this story, the forensic blood spatter expert is forced into attending his high school reunion and as expected, a new killer is in Miami.

The Good

Jeff Lindsay, the writer of the Dexter novels, is bringing the serial killer and his dark passenger into the panels. If you're like me -- a fan of the show and haven't read a single novel -- then you need to know one key thing going into this: it's not based on the show. It's based on the novel.

This issue is pretty much everything you'd expect it to be. It's narrated by Dexter and does all of the basics to establish a new murder mystery in Miami. It's nothing out of the ordinary or shocking, but that isn't really a bad thing, either. It obviously strives to make you believe one key character is behind the killings and it would indeed make sense, but as of right now, we simply don't have all of the facts to point the finger just yet. Additionally, Lindsay does the bare basics establishing the supporting cast but ultimately (and understandably) shines the majority of the light on Dexter, a character who manages to deliver a constant flow of amusement through his thoughts.

One thing I really dug about this issue was the frequent inclusion of Dexter's dark passenger. It's lurking around him at all of the right moments, giving us a nice reminder that despite his somewhat relatable dialogue, we are indeed rooting for a man who always has murder on his mind.

The Bad

There's literally no disclaimer to inform you this is based on the novel and not the show. So, upon seeing Dexter for the first time and he looks nothing like Michael C. Hall, it was pretty jarring. Even though they're going for the novel's continuity, I would have thought they'd make him resemble the face of Dexter the masses have come to know? Having him look different and providing no introduction/disclaimer about the continuity is a very odd choice seeing as not everyone researches titles online before purchasing them and there are countless fans of the show who haven't read the books. If they randomly spot the cover on a stand and pick it up, they're sure to be confused, especially since it does use characters who were in the show as well.

One particularly odd thing is I found Dexter to be far more likable than Rita. Who would have thought that? Also, is it just me or did Dexter technically call Rita overweight when saying the "alien ray" is contagious?

The Verdict

For me, the biggest benefit of throwing Dexter Morgan into the panels is the fun they can have with the visuals and that's more than transparent with the creative and pleasing use of his dark passenger. As I said above, the book doesn't really do anything to blow you away or surprise you, but it's by no means bad, either. It's a pretty simple and formulaic intro and if you're a fan of the character, it's worth at least checking out.

13 Comments
Posted by The Stegman

Honestly, Dexter is one of the few cases where I like the tv adaptation more than the source material. I read the first couple books, and just don't like Lindsay's narration.

Also, I was about to say, didn't the show already have the plot of Dex going back to his high school reunion for a kill??

Posted by Al_capOWN

Yes, i that happened either in season 5 or 6, forgot. So is this a short series or will it be ongoing?

Edited by Dark_Guyver

Huge fan of the show! Although I've never read the books so I think I'll pass. Although it would be nice to read a story with Rita in it.

Posted by BumpyBoo

Intriguing review! I am a HUGE fan of both the books and the series, and there are some very notable differences in both plot and character development between the two. Without saying too much...I think a novel adaptation is far better suited to the medium of comics than TV anyway. What works in the books would not have worked in the series, I don't think. There are a lot of strong supernatural elements to the novels, especially later on (again, not wanting to spoil anything for anyone). Will be very interested to see how the story translates.

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Posted by k4tzm4n

Yes, i that happened either in season 5 or 6, forgot. So is this a short series or will it be ongoing?

It's a five-issue limited-series.

Edited by Shallbecomeabattoo

Spoilers for the novels:

Fun fact about the Dark Passanger. In the books, it is actually a demon that lives inside Dexters soul. Yes, I am not joking and Yes, its a stupid idea.

Also, what I really dislike about the novels is that Dexter isn't nearly as formidable as in the tv show. He gets saved in the first 4 novels at the end by someone else from the badguy and is generally not a very tough person or fighter. I like the tv version a bit better, even if that too went off the rails a few seasons ago.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@shallbecomeabattoo: Well, it seems like that could be the case here. I assumed the line was just implying he's unlike most humans when it comes to his mentality, but seeing as this is in continuity with the novels...

If that's true, this is yet another reason why this book desperately needed an intro of some kind.

Posted by NightFang

I've fallen behind so much on the show.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Love the show, hope this is good.

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

Wait, so Drew Scanlon ISN'T Dexter?

Posted by Killemall

This is based on the novel, and should be interesting. I like the idea of a nemesis, someone just as bad as Dexter from his past, intruging.

I actually like the Novel better than the TV series, although i have only read the first one, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, even then i had the audio that actually read out the whole thing for me :p

I like the whole supernatural element to his so called Dark Passanger, hopefully that follows thru in the comics as well.

Posted by Dernman

Won't be picking this up. I prefer the series over the novels.