When we last saw our intrepid wizard, Harry Dresden was being carried off by a giant owl. Things do not improve much for him Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card #2. First there is dealing with the owl, then there is facing the angry ruler of the White Court. And behind that is the initial problem: someone—or multiple someones?–is still out there killing people, and tensions are rising. Dresden is battered, tired, and in over his head—which is par for the course for someone who bills himself as Chicago’s only practicing wizard.
Jim Butcher and Mark Powers are writing a tension-filled entry into the Harry Dresden series that fits neatly in the series itself and stands alone as a separate story, though readers are advised to read the introductory note. There is a deepening mystery where the readers know slightly more than Harry himself—but not enough to solve it. There are clashing personalities and multiple plots. There’s a healthy dab of the supernatural as well, from the strange killer on the streets to the White Court and whoever sent the gigantic owl.
Carlos Gomez gives Dresden a suitably scruffy look, a look that gets worse as events unfold. He also knows how and when to sexualize female characters. Lara Raith, head of the White Court, uses lust as a power source and dresses accordingly. Karrin Murphy, who is a Chicago police officer, wears a buttoned up shirt and is not nearly as buxom. In fact, all of Gomez’s characters have differing body types and heights. Action scenes are well-choreographed. There is a clear difference in lighting and tone of the different locales, from the woods to the grimy Chicago streets and the clean, brightly-lit gymnasium where they meet Lara Raith.
Henry Dresden: Wild Cards is well worth the time of fans of urban fantasy and detective fiction.
Writers: Jim Butcher, Mark Powers
Artist: Carlos Gomez
Letters: Bill Tortolini
Cover: Carlos Gomez