I have unapologetically always been a Tim Burton fan. Consider it a byproduct of growing up with his films. However, I’ve no idea who Kate Leth is. This is more primarily my fault. So when I find out one of my three favorite Burton films, Edward Scissorhands, (the other two being Batman 89, and Ed Wood [technically NBC is a Henry Selick film with a huge Burton aesthetic) ) is getting an official-unofficial comic book sequel, I kind of get excited. I’ve never ever been into comics based on licensed properties, and I actually dislike the idea quite a bit for reasons I can’t quite explain, but I owed it to myself to check this out.
It’s an interesting piece of work, and I like some of the fundamental concepts at play here, but it definitely falls into my preconceived notions of what reading a licensed comic would be like. It reads like fan-fiction. It essentially tells a variation on the same story as the original (so far at least). Hell, it even introduces an original character do not steal™ that plays out like a darker version of the titular character. But for some reason, I love it. It reminds me of the more “what-the-fuck” corners of Fanfiction.net but done right and written with a semblance of actually being good. Hell, it mostly eliminates the cringe worthy prose that permeates so much bad fan-fiction and goes for a more visual look. It takes awful tropes, uses them, and spins them out into something fun to read. Edward Scissorhands #1 is a love-letter to probably the best Burton film but it doesn’t over-exert itself in its tribute/homage structure to the point of becoming pastiche.
Even the artwork by Drew Rausch reminds of that early-2000’s scratchy sort of Invader Zim/whimsical Goth aesthetic that permeated a number of things from 2000-2004 approximately. Oddly enough, it reminds me of another Tim Burton work, Beetlejuice, in its mixture of brighter colors with grays, blacks and stark whites. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, and the cover is definitely misleading (although it’s by a different artist) as to what the story inside may look like. There are moments where the art really shines and moments where the book gives off an air of “why did they put this in, it feels useless”. Overall, the art is a relatively strong factor with only a few weak moments in.
Overall, Edward Scissorhands feels like a licensed piece of fanfic. That much was pretty inevitable from the start. But what it does differently, is it takes the tropes that plague fanfiction and turns them into something relatively good. We’re actually off to a pretty decent start of a five-issue miniseries.
My rating: 3.5/5