CSI: Serial is a faithful adaptation of the hit TV show. Writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition) knows his crime stories. He’s also written CSI novels, which gives him a good familiarity with the characters.
Artist Gabriel Rodriguez does an excellent job with likenesses. With many adaptations, the artist spends so much time trying to get the look just right that the art winds up stiff, as though it was copied from photos. That’s not the case here, which attests to Rodriguez’s skill. As on the show, flashbacks and autopsies are done in a different, painted art style by Ashley Wood. Instead of concentrating on detail (which would be hard to read or determine, given Wood’s impressionistic style), these inserts emphasize mood and emotion.
Collins’ captions similarly attempt to capture the feel of the series’ Las Vegas setting. Someone is killing hookers in ways that evoke the slayings of Jack the Ripper, complete with historical props. Collins connects the two in an unusual way: Vegas is a city that runs all night, where they encourage visitors to forget the time, and these killings are taken out of time.
Grissom, of course, is an amateur Ripperologist and so knowledgeable about the Ripper slayings. He’s not the only one; there’s a convention of them in town, complicating the case. As with the show, that’s not the only murder the team has to investigate, with Sara and Nick cleaning up after a body in a dumpster.
The mysteries progress at a measured pace, with each new piece of evidence becoming another link in the chain. This graphic novel feels like a good episode of the show, one that proceeds at the reader’s rate.