The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Vol. 1

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Vol. 1 - Denise Mina, Leonardo Manco, Andrea Mutti, Stieg Larsson Ok I've read the millennium trilogy, seen the Swedish versions of all three films including the extended cuts and the Hollywood version, so I was interested to see how the graphic novel adaptation was handled.
Lisbeth Salander is probably one of the most intriguing heroines ever put down on paper, socially inept, a moody genius, hard as nails and prone to the odd spot of violence when threatened.

The graphic novel relies heavily on the fact that the reader is intimately familiar with the storyline and would understand what is going on when confronted with page after page with little or no dialogue. A little more explanation of what is happening was required, if you've not already bought into the franchise and its your first experience of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo then this I'm afraid is not going to pull you in and leave you desperate for more.

On to the artwork, which is where my main problem lies, Looking at the cover I thought I was in for a treat with the fantastic drawing of Lisbeth smoking a cigarette but the cover had the time spent on it, unfortunately the rest of the novel felt rushed and a little sloppy. There is one small panel where we see Lisbeths dragon tattoo in all its splendour and it looks fantastic but overall there is no consistency and she looks to different from page to page. Its almost like the artist has tried to combine the looks of Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara, some of it looks really good and some really bad. The same can be said of the artists rendering of Mikael Blomkvist almost as if the novel is aimed at the Hollywood versions audience with a blonde Adonis type figure.

The sexual violence is a big talking point of the novel and films, the rape of Lisbeth Salander by her evil guardian Nils Bjurman is handled slightly differently in the graphic novel. Bjurman is a woman hating sadist who in the book makes a conscious decision to abuse someone in his care, yet here he is portrayed as a guy with mental problems who thinks Lisbeth is attracted to him. Can't really understand why this change in character profile from the source material was done, Bjurman is an evil man who has committed an atrocious act that deserved suitable punishment and now the whole concept is changed, it doesn't diminish the act but changes the perception. Lisbeth has her revenge in the same fashion but this change was not done well and was another negative aspect of the adaptation.

There is obviously some great source material for this graphic novel and I thought it would be extremely difficult to f**k this up but I was left disappointed, even more so because I bought volume 2 and both of them are expensive but I will read to see if they destroy it any more.