Friday, June 1, 2018

ReaditDaddy's Comic of the Week - Week Ending 1st June 2018: "The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship" by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham (David Fickling Books)

Our Comic of the Week this week is another winning collection culled from the pages of the Phoenix Comic. It's time for adventure!
We've been hoping for a collected version of "The Adventures of John Blake" by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham ever since the story erupted onto the pages of the weekly Phoenix Comic.

For some reason, we ended up missing around 3 of the issues that this fantastic cinematic adventure featured in, so we can finally plug the gaps and get the full story on John Blake - a young man trapped in the mists of time after an experiment goes horribly awry.

John Blake and his mysterious ship are doomed to sail between the centuries, searching for a way home. 

In the ocean of the modern day, John rescues a shipwrecked young girl his own age, Serena, and promises to help.

But returning Serena to her own time means traveling to the one place where the ship is in most danger of destruction. 

The all-powerful Dahlberg Corporation has an ambitious leader with plans far greater and more terrible than anyone has realized, and he is hot on their trail. 

For only John, Serena, and the crew know Dahlberg's true intentions, and only they have the power to stop him from bending the world to his will!

It's probably worth pointing out that Philip Pullman is a lifelong fan of comics, and it feels like "The Adventures of John Blake" is a far more visual and cinematic approach to storytelling than Pullman takes in his usual novels (including, of course, the best-selling and globe-spanning "His Dark Materials" series). 

I was always a bit worried that the darker tone and more YA-oriented storylines in John Blake would sail over C's head but she's really enjoyed these now she's reading them as a ten year old (though thankfully there's nothing too horrible in here aside from a fair amount of scrapping and violence - so more sensitive parents might need to give it a once over before letting their kids loose on it). 

But it's fantastic stuff, wrapping up a ton of our favourite themes in science fiction, from time travel to nefarious conspiracies, expirimental gadgetry to James Bond-style thrills and spills. It's an absolute winner. 

"The Adventures of John Blake: The Mystery of the Ghost Ship" by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham is out now, published by David Fickling Books (kindly supplied for review)