Just in case you were worried this would be an entire week of “The Dark Knight Rises” commentary, the latest installment of my “Adapt This” column for IFC has nothing to do with Batman — though it is about a dark, gritty murder mystery.
I really enjoyed DC’s line of Vertigo Crime graphic novels, and The Executor by Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti was one of my favorite books in the series. It deals with some rough, disturbing material, so it’s definitely not for younger readers. But for anyone who loves a good mystery, it’s fantastic.
The story follows a former professional hockey player who decides to return to his hometown when his high-school girlfriend names him the executor of her will. As he learns more about the circumstances of her death, it becomes obvious that there was something sinister behind it, and he gets drawn into a complicated mystery that unearths secrets he’d prefer to keep hidden.
Here’s an excerpt from the column:
While it’s always nice to see a flashy superhero story make the leap from page to screen, The Executor offers some great source material for a tense, gritty mystery that will leave audiences talking well after the credits roll. Evans provides ample amounts of misdirection while gradually seeding the story with the clues to the truth, and the entire tale culminates in dramatic, cinema-friendly fashion once everything stands revealed.
Like any good mystery, there’s no shortage of likely suspects in the murder that lies at the heart of The Executor, and each of the characters has a lot of potential for the right actor to make the role his (or her) own. Even though the story focuses on Joe Ullen, there’s real depth in the supporting cast — something that translates to strong foundations and room for talented actors to put their own spins on the characters.
You can read the rest of the column at IFC.com, and I urge you to pick up any of the Vertigo Crime graphic novels that pique your interest. I’ve read every single one of them, and they’re all very, very good.