Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Wild Card

By: Jim Butcher

Series: The Dresden Files

Book Number: 10.6

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


An uneasy peace has settled over Chicago between human law enforcement; "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone, mob boss and first human freeholding Baron under the Unseelie Accords; and Lara Wraith, leader of the White Court vampires. However, their fragile alliance is about to be tested as tensions bubble to the surface in light of a new enemy emerging, who's dead-set on pitting them all against one another. When two human women are found dead, drained of all their life force, it appears to be the White Court's doing. But Harry Dresden is pretty certain they aren't responsible. As he investigates, more murder victims are discovered, and in each case, he finds that the supposed perpetrator is actually innocent. But it doesn't stop the city's most powerful factions from pointing fingers at each other. As a civil war is about to erupt, can Harry restore peace and bring everyone together to fight the real enemy? 


Wild Card is the sixth Dresden Files graphic novel. According to Jim Butcher's website, the story is set between Small Favor and Turn Coat in the greater series story arc. In this one, we have a mysterious and powerful entity who is trying to pit Chicago's most prominent p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { }factions against each other. He has murdered two women in an attack meant to look like it was perpetrated by White Court vampires, and when one of their own is also attacked, the cops are out to kick some vampire butts. Then two vampires are killed, leaving their leader, Lara Wraith, believing it was John Marcone. Meanwhile one of Marcone's lackeys is found dead, supposedly at the hands of the cops. All of this leads to a fast-brewing civil war that will tear the city apart it Harry can't find the culprit and put a stop to it.

I enjoyed the story for the way that it brings together a number of characters from the Dresden universe who must manage to put aside their differences to take on a common enemy. This is no small order for our wizard PI, Harry Dresden, who is the only one who can talk sense into the leaders of the various factions, and ultimately he's also the one to defeat their enemy, although not in his typical flashy fashion full of things that go boom. Some of the characters are ones who've been a part of the series for a while, and others are new to this graphic novel format. Harry's brother, Thomas; his good friend and CPD cop, Karrin Murphy; and his apprentice, Molly, act as his closest allies and have all been seen before in illustration. Murphy's partner, Rawlins, and ME Butters I'm pretty sure are new to this format, making it interesting to see the artist's concepts of them. In the frenemy camp, Marcone was seen in the previous graphic novel, Down Town, but I don't believe that Lara Wraith has been in one of these books before and neither has Harry's fairy godmother, Lea. Then there's our evil villain who I can't really say much about because giving away his identity is a huge spoiler. It made for a very well-rounded cast. I also enjoyed the couple of scenes that are written from Murphy's POV, another first in the series. It was nice to get a little bit of insight into her past.

Most of the illustrations are done by Carlos Gomez who has worked on previous Dresden Files graphic novels, although according to the credits, Sean Izaakse worked on Issue 4. Their styles match closely enough that I didn't find the transition jarring in any way. For the most part, I liked the artwork, although I have a few minor quibbles. I'm still not a fan of the way that Thomas is portrayed. As illustrated, he's just not that attractive to me, considering that he's always been described as impossibly beautiful. I also thought that Murphy and Molly looked a little to much alike in their facial features. The only way I was able to tell them apart is by Molly's colorful hair and piercings. The last thing is that I feel like the female characters are a bit over-sexualized. However, I realize that this sadly is often par for the course in comics. Otherwise, this was a well-written and nicely illustrated book, that I very much enjoyed.


Jim Butcher