Current Reviews


Supernatural: Origins #1

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2007
By: Thom Young

“Chapter One”

Writer: Peter Johnson
Illustrator: Matthew Dow Smith

“Speak No Evil” (back-up story)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Illustrator: Phil Hester

I am a regular viewer of Supernatural on Thursday nights on the CW network following Smallville, so I was curious about this title. I am not, however, a diehard fan of the show the way I am of The Sopranos or Star Trek (in its various incarnations).

Despite being a diehard fan of those last two shows, I do not feel a need to buy any of the peripheral merchandise associated with either The Sopranos or Star Trek. In fact, I think the last time I read a Star Trek comic book was back in the 1970s when it was published by Gold Key and I was just a kid.

Reading this issue of Supernatural: Origins reminded me of reading the Gold Key books based on television shows. It was an adequately written and illustrated book that told a story with characters you know from television. It isn’t bad, but neither is it very memorable.

The main story (of which we get “Chapter One” here) gives the details of John Winchester looking into the circumstances of his wife’s murder. It’s how he got started being a “hunter.”

For those of you who don’t watch Supernatural, the Winchester clan are “hunters” of evil supernatural beings as they pursue the demon who murdered Mrs. Winchester 20+ years ago by pinning her to the ceiling in the infant Sam Winchester’s nursery and then setting her on fire.

Aside from the oft-repeated television show image of Mrs. Winchester dying, there is nothing in the first chapter of this story that is the least bit scary. Primarily, this chapter introduces John Winchester to the voodoo priestess and/or fortune teller that we saw on one episode of the TV show (I forget her name at the moment, and a quick skim of the issue failed to find it).

The back-up story by Geoff Johns is only five pages long and tells the story of Sam Winchester (probably about eight years old) asking his older brother Dean (probably about fourteen) how their mom died.

Dean lies and says she was killed in a car wreck. They then find their father in a physical fight with a demon, so Dean takes Sammy “three miles north” to wait for their father to retrieve them after he finishes off the demon he’s fighting—because that’s what Dean has been ordered to do whenever his father is fighting a boogey man: drive three miles north and wait.

Again, there was nothing frightening in these five pages, nor was there anything that really enriches the experience of watching the TV show. It did cause me to wonder though: How will their father know exactly where they are “three miles north”? Is that as the crow files? Do they map out a “three miles north” route whenever they visit a new town? Do I really care?

For diehard Supernatural fans who live and breathe the show, this comic book is probably something they will want to have in their collection. For those who don’t mind spending $2.99 on an adequately written and illustrated comic book that doesn’t provide a rich reading experience, you might pick this up if you have nothing else to read.

I’d rather spend my money on some 30- or 40-year old Gold Key comics based on television shows. I recall reading an issue of The Nanny and the Professor. . . .

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