A family curse begun in Cairo, Egypt, in 1917 leads wizard Harry Dresden away from his stomping grounds in Chicago to Missouri, to face even worse danger than the sea creature in Lake Michigan that was aiming to make sushi out of him.
Writers Jim Butcher and Mark Powers complicate things nicely, cast spells neatly, and charge Dresden up with enough cold and flu medications to make his job suitably trenchcoat miserable--or rather I should make that 'inverness coat' difficult, since Dresden likes to dress old school.
With a little help from Bob the talking skull--who's a little snippy after being stuffed in a trunk for so long--and much hurting by flippant creatures vacationing from the Nevernever, the story (note for steadfast fans: it's set between Fool Moon and Grave Peril) takes turns that are bigger than those of the "ginormous" snake god that Dresden summons to provide enough cryptic information to make his job even tougher.
In between the ever explored human versus darker things versus deity indifference with the perennial battle between the two, Dresden is properly burdened with enough sweet and sour memories and good intentions to make us root for him to whip evil's ass and beat those darker things' butts good and plenty. Keeping him a few spells short of being a truly mighty wizard allows his humanity to come through as much as his bruises.
Butcher and Powers' balance of dry humor, bloody encounters, and dramatic surprises is well served by Joseph Cooper's art, which provides enough gritty detail with it's thick lines to carry the storyline to its climax. Deputy Sheriff Prescott, the cursed Talbot family, the town's mayor, the reluctant sheriff (there's always one, at least) who wants Dresden to drive his beat up Volkswagon Beetle far away in the opposite direction, and a very competitive ghoul and goblin, all of them through their characterizations, dialog, and revealed motivations and secrets make this tale a little more sophisticated in plotting and unfolding than the usual comic book series expends energy on.
Now that's quite a well casted spell, indeed.
This graphic book will be released on November 26th.