cover image C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation: Serial

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation: Serial

Sam Kieth, Sam Keith, . . IDW, $19.99 (352pp) ISBN 978-1-932382-00-6

Television's hit forensics squad moves over to comics, courtesy of mystery vet Collins and artists Rodriguez and Wood. The usual characters are here: cerebral Grissom, intense Willows, etc. As the story begins, a serial killer is going after Las Vegas hookers, leaving them brutally murdered with Victorian bonnets lying nearby. Just a random detail? Not to polymath Grissom, who remembers this was the calling card of history's most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Complicating matters—and throwing about 500 suspects into the mix—a Ripperologist convention just happens to be in town. Meanwhile, younger team members Stokes and Sidle investigate the case of a body found in a dumpster. Fans of the show will find this tale reassuringly familiar—nothing strays far from the highly successful formula, and Collins spins a captivating mystery (although junior Ripperologists may find the exposition a bit unnecessary). But this version comes up short on the artistic end. Rodriguez adroitly conveys the cast members' likenesses, but much of his art is stiff and unexciting, and the coloring is often drab and monotonous, not a good look for a story set in Las Vegas. Wood, a more exciting artist, adds occasional pages of impressionistic imagery, but they are too infrequent. Much of the appeal of the television show is the state-of-the-art cinematography and eerie lighting, both of which are lacking here. Those looking for a solid mystery yarn will find it, but the overall effect is of routine paperwork rather than exotic forensic investigation. (Aug.)