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‘Thumbprint #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Thumbprint 1


Thumbprint 1Thumbprint is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s novella of the same name, the story of an Army MP who returns from a troubled tour in Iraq to find that her past won’t quite stay buried.  Hill is, of course, best known in comics for Locke & Key, as well as his award-winning novels, but his usual domain of dark fantasy is entirely absent in Thumbprint; this is a gritty thriller without a trace of the fantastic, which isn’t to say that it isn’t good.

The comic is written by Jason Ciaramelia with art by Vic Malhotra, and both do their jobs capably.  Protagonist Mallory Grennan is believable as an Iraq vet who isn’t entirely proud of the things she’s done.  The story alternates between her past in Iraq and her present back home, working at a bar.  She’s not exactly content but seems to appreciate being able to keep to herself for the most part – at least until she receives a piece of paper with a single thumbprint in the mail.  She recognizes the print from somewhere, and the vague sense of threat it carries with it.  The art serves to carry the shadowy tone through the story and gives Mal’s world an appropriate sense of realism, of down-to-earthness.

Readers who hop to Thumbprint based on Locke & Key may find themselves disappointed because of how different in nature the stories are, but, taken on its own, Thumbprint is a fine read.  I am intrigued by the mystery of who is sending Mal these thumbprints and why, enough to keep an eye out for the next issue, or maybe even check out the source material.  If anything, I wish I had the next issue in hand already, so I could keep reading.  If it is, in some ways, a by-the-numbers thriller, Thumbprint is at least well executed.

Four Ominous Letters out of Five



Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor


Favorite Comic: Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha Favorite Tabletop RPG: Fireborn Favorite Spacegoing Vessel: Constitution-class Refit


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