Olivia Twist #1 (of 4) Review

by Olivier Roth on September 20, 2018

Written by: Adam Dalva & Darin Strauss

Art by: Emma Vieceli

Published by: Dark Horse Comics - Berger Books


It’s not always an easy task trying to come up with a fresh take on an old classic - even harder when you are trying your hand at an old classic like Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. But, that is exactly what Dalva and Strauss are attempting with Olivia Twist, a genderbend set in an alternate timeline/universe (not too clear on that) London. Does it succeed? Let’s find out.   


From the first page, you can tell that Dalva and Strauss have decided to modify the original work by Dickens by adding a mystery aspect, as detailed by the introduction of her parents prior to her birth and something they made that would change the world. What that is exactly is never clarified, but it wouldn’t do to have the answer to the mystery right from page one.


From there, the rest of the story falls into similar territory with the original, without deviating too much - from my recollection. We get the classic, in a variant form, of “Please sir, can I have some more?” scene, we get a daring escape from the orphanage/labor camp, we get to meet the Artful Dodger as well as Fagin. All these elements make for a serviceable first issue, but other than the mystery from the beginning, it doesn’t separate itself enough from the original material… at least not for now.


Emma Vieceli has been tasked with art duties on this series and she does a fantastic job of giving some character to this new series. I particularly like her use of darker colors in all scenes revolving around the orphanage and brighter colors for the city itself. My only point against the color scheme is that it feels a little drab throughout. The colors may be darker/vibrant, but they don’t really pop off the page.


In all, this is a very good debut issue that may be elevated once the other three issues are out. I’ve made the critique that some comics tend to be written for the trade, and right now, this seems to be the case for Olivia Twist. We’ll see if that is truly the case with the next issues.

Our Score:


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