Down Town is a six-issue story written by Jim Butcher and Mark Powers with art by Carlos Gomez. It’s a fun addition to the Dresden Files that sees Harry team up with mob boss (and now- after striking a deal with the White Council- baron of Chicago) Johnny Marcone. Also along for the ride are the wizard-in-training Molly and temple dog Mouse. Of course, there’s no love lost between our magical hero and Gentleman Johnny, so what could possibly bring them together?
A couple of corpses, that’s what. Two store owners under Marcone’s protection turn up dead. Not just dead, but pulverized, bloody pulp, closed-casket dead. And the culprit is a giant monster of magical origin. Harry does the detective thing for a while, but the majority of the story takes place in Undertown, as Harry leads the way in pursuit of the villain.
In Down Town, Marcone becomes an antihero of sorts, determined to keep his promise to defend those under his protection and ready to lay down his life for his city. This story arc adds a lot of depth to the character, opening the opportunity for more compelling conflicts between Marcone and Harry in the future.
The villain on the other hand, is some sort of homeless bum/powerful wizard. The story doesn’t get into his motive or backstory at all. It may be that he’s just a lunatic, but even that should have been given some attention.
Overall, it’s a good story. The Marcone-Dresden team up is a lot of fun. Molly doesn’t get in the way and Mouse is there when we need him. The art isn’t spectacular, but it gets the story across. The storytelling was clear, but it wasn’t exciting. The action shots weren’t very dynamic. The only glaring error (besides a few typos) is the villain’s total lack of depth.
- Interesting characters
- Fun plot
- Serviceable art
- No backstory for the villain
- A few typos
- Villain’s dialect is sort of annoying