Published on October 22nd, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Edward Scissorhands #1 – Review
If you are of a certain age or have relatives of a certain age, you’ll probably remember watching Edward Scissorhands as a youngster and then again every year throughout your early teen years, lamenting the love that would never be between Edward and Kim, punching the air when Jim gets skewered and basically wondering why Edward had scissors for hands in the first place: What possessed Vincent Price to try and make a boy out of a rotary blade lawn mower?
Edward Scissorhands is one of Tim Burton’s Teen Goth masterpieces and no matter how you feel about Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder these days, back then they were the perfect teenage star crossed lovers. If you have no idea what any of this is all about, the chances are you’ll not be picking up Edward Scissorhands #1 from IDW publishing this week. I’m not sure how much pull this title is going to have outside of the existing fan base. Like the Planet of the Apes and Star Trek franchises, the comics tend to be bought by people already invested in the characters and the stories and I can’t see Edward Scissorhands having a different initial appeal.
This is a shame, especially for Edward Scissorhands, because it’s a quaint little comic that can be read without any knowledge of the movie and in fact is probably, tonally at least, aimed at an audience who are too young to know of the films existence.
The story opens with Edward finding out that Kim has passed away and this leads to him finding out that he was not the first boy that the crazy yet lonely professor made. As he delves into the stacks of dusty books and searches through forgotten rooms, he finally stumbles across a small clockwork boy with massive eyes and clawed hands.
The reader is then introduced to Megan, the granddaughter of Kim from the movie, who has grown up with the stories of the strange man with knives for hands. However, over the years the tales have become urban legends and even Megan’s mother only believes the horrible parts of the story: the senseless murder of a teenage boy. Megan is a despondent teenager who resents the dismissal of her family’s history so she goes in search of the truth.
Meanwhile Edward is trying to connect with his new ‘brother’ with little success and an unfortunate gift leads to a surprisingly bloody end for a cute little rodent observer.
The essence of this story lies deep within family secrets and the passing of the torch to a new generation. Firstly there is Megan who is looking into her grandmother’s life, taking over the role of Winona Ryder as the ‘identifiable character’ who leads the reader into the strange world behind the doors of the Gothic Mansion. And secondly with have Edward waking his brother, who he dubs Eli, and due to an unfortunate incident, he releases him into the World.
The narrative isn’t very subtle about the transition of characters but then again it doesn’t need to be, it doesn’t have decades of continuity to consider: there was a single film which told it’s story in full. This comic isn’t trying to be a sequel to the Tim Burton movie, rather it is creating a new myth set in the same world.
Having said that there are nods to the original source material, mostly through the stylised artwork. The design of the Mansion Entrance and the decrepit attic are hauntingly familiar where as a greater licence has been taken with other aspects such as Edward who now resembles a plush toy version of his original form. This is not a bad thing either though because, at the end of the day, this comic is Edward Scissorhands for a new audience and hopefully it’ll find it. I have a feeling that this first issue will be bought by people who grew up in love with the movie and then pass it down to their children or nieces and nephews. And they’ll be happy to to receive it because Leth and Rausch have delivered an entertaining and promising comic to help the younger readers discover a tale of wonder from decades ago.
Title: Edward Scissorhands
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Drew Rausch