I admit I picked this title blindly. “The Librarians—great!” I thought. “It’ll be a great comic about librarians!” I envisioned something along the lines of Rex Libris, the comic series by James Turner, or maybe some set of salacious reading advisories gone awry. I didn’t realize these collected four issues are tangential to The Librarians made-for-television film series, which has spin-offs flying in every direction, from a TNT weekly tv series to a novelization to this comic. So I must disclose that this review is written entirely on the basis of the comic alone, without knowledge of the previous film or television series.
The Librarians written by Will Pfeifer and illustrated by Rodney Buchemi follows Flynn Carson, the Librarian of the Metropolitan Public Library and protector of historical and magical artifacts. Assisting him are Eve Baird, an ex-counter-terrorism agent who protects the group; Jack Stone, an oil worker from Oklahoma with a genius for history, architecture, and art; Cassandra Cillian, who relies on her synesthesia to see numbers as colors, hear science as music, and smell science as olfactory experiences; and Ezekiel Jones, world-class thief and ultimate hacker. In this volume, the team works together to solve the seeming murder of Sol Schick, a 70s cult/B movie producer. When Flynn, Eve, and Cassandra see Schick stabbed from their front row seats at his movie festival, they cannot resist tracking down the murderer to discover his intent.
The plot of the book seems almost as kitschy as the 70s movies themselves. This story has it all—from unmasked monsters to parallel universes; from mythical artifacts to on-demand portals. While hyperbolic and fantastical, the plot is in keeping with the characters and what seems to be the nature of the series as a whole. I think the story might have benefited from another issue toward the end to draw out the bit about the parallel universe. I was a little frustrated with the magical fallback of resetting time to undo destruction—I mean, come on, isn’t that a bit cliché? But again, maybe it’s just a celebration of the 70s cult/B movie madness: endings that are a little too tidy but that still leave a string or two left to pull on if a sequel is merited.
The art was average. It got the job done without any noticeable faults, but it did not leave any lasting impact. I would’ve preferred a volume cover that had comic characters rather than the TV characters, as I personally abhor tie-in covers. One on hand, if I were a Librarians fan and I saw the current cover, I’d immediately know that I wanted to follow up on a favorite series. However, if I were a stranger to the story, those TV characters would’ve prevented me from picking up the book, and I think it’s strong enough to stand on its own. You don’t need to know the characters or any of their previous adventures to enjoy this story.
I’m not sure who the target audience is for this comic, as I’m not familiar with the series. Dynamite rated it T+ in the fantasy genre, but there’s nothing preventing young teens from enjoying it. It’s also more sci-fi than fantasy. If you know you have a Librarians fandom in your community, definitely buy this. If you’re not sure, I’d say you might better spend your funds on Rex Libris or something like it.
The Librarians, Vol. 1: In Search Of…
By Will Pfeifer
Art by Rodney Buchemi
Dynamite Entertainment, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: T+
Browse for more like this title
Related to…: Movie to Comic, TV to Comic, Book to Comic