cover image Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Book 1

Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Book 1

Denise Mina, Andrea Mutti, and Leonardo Manco. DC/Vertigo, $19.99 (152p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3557-4

The late Stieg Larsson’s slick potboiler is wildly popular in both movie and novel form; its tale—disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his unorthodox ally hacker/investigator, Lisbeth Salander, struggle to discover the truth behind the disappearance of Harriet Vanger decades before—is familiar to people around the world. Now it has been transformed into a graphic novel, this installment covering the events of the first half of the novel. As with the movies, translation to graphic form requires streamlining the novel, discarding details not absolutely essential to the plot. Despite a tight adaptation by crime novelist Mina, this version preserves many of the flaws of the original, the visual fetishization of Salander emphasizing Larsson’s clueless background misogyny. In addition, the photorealistic art style and attempt at dynamic storytelling, while striking in and of itself, works against the procedural grind of reading documents and computer hacking which provided the action in the novel. The resulting hybrid is not so much a reinterpretation of the original as a slightly edited storyboard. While it won’t necessarily make new fans on its own, completists should enjoy the new visual interpretation. (Nov.)