The Shrinking Man #1 Review

Posted July 29, 2015 by Chris White in Comic Books

Written by: Richard Matheson (Adapted by Ted Adams)

Art by: Mark Torres & Tomi Varga

Publisher: IDW

Richard Matheson has written some of the most highly regarded novels of all time, such as I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes, Hell House and What Dreams May Come. The Shrinking Man was one of his best, and IDW has decided to adapt it into a 4-part series, with CEO and publisher of IDW, Ted Adams at the helm. The Shrinking Man #1 follows Scott Carey, a regular family man that discovers he is shrinking 1/7 of an inch every day; he struggles to come to terms with his new found affliction, whilst relinquishing his duties as a father and a husband.

All of the dialogue in the comic comes straight from the novel, apart from some well-written internal monologue from Ted Adams; with all of Matheson’s books, his ability to be visceral and direct with his writing makes a huge impact to the story, and The Shrinking Man is no different. As the issue progresses, watching the relationship between Scott and Lou deteriorate is harrowing—Scott is a man trying to provide for his family and he begins to realise that he can’t. He can no longer make love to his wife and the outcome is uncomforting to read—and see; the panels are portrayed beautifully and Ted Adams has done a great job bringing the psychological anguish that Matheson wrote onto the pages in a well-paced approach. The story flits between Scott’s slow decline and the obstacles he faces as The Shrinking Man, and there are certain obstacles that he faces which leave you feeling on edge and anxious for Scott’s safety.

Mark Torres has done a fantastic job with bringing the writing to life; not only is the calibre of artwork high, the stylistic approach fits well with the 1950’s feel of the comic. It is clearly inspired by the huge catalogue of Entertaining Comics (or EC Comics for short) from the 40’s and 50’s. Throughout the issue, Mark pays great attention to detail and makes Matheson’s world tangible—after all these years, we get to see the story of The Shrinking Man embellished on the pages of a comic, made for a completely new audience.

The Shrinking Man #1 does a great job of giving us a fresh look at Richard Matheson’s novel, and with three issues left to be released, I will be excited to see how the rest of this masterpiece is adapted.

About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.