ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Water Weed – Rivers of London’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Water Weed - Rivers of London - But Why Tho?

Titan Comics’ Water Weed graphic novel, which is from the Rivers in London series, is written by Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch. The story is broken into four separate books. It is illustrated by Lee Sullivan, All parts have different colorists; part 1 colored by Luis Guerrero (with Memo Regalado), part 2 colored by Paulina Vassileva (with Thiago Ribeiro), part 3 colored by Paulina Vassileva, letters by Rob Steen and part 4 colored by Luis Guerrero. These comics take place after The Hanging Tree, Cry Fox, and before Lies Sleeping, which are books written by Ben Aaronovitch.

The story follows the wizarding cop Peter and the river spirit Beverly. They’re drawn into a shady cannabis-smuggling operation, which is controlled by London’s new crime boss known as Hoodette. Our heroes have two choices: either take part in the operation or find a way to overcome corruption.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I decided to review this comic. Right from the first few pages, I discovered that this is a comic specifically for those who have read the series. It doesn’t really do anything to make readers more aware of who these characters are or any kind of information of the world its set in. I’m not a fan of the novel to comic adaptions that require you to know everything in the series. Some background information is given, but it either references readers to go back to specific books or glosses over them very quickly.

The concept of people infiltrating criminal operations has become a common trope in many pieces of media, which seemed like an interesting concept to adapt to a comic. This comic reminded me a lot of AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad, which only made me much more interested in reading this. However, I found some of the writer’s choices questionable, and they left me uncertain as to the writer’s intent. The overall story seemed very vague and was often trying to figure itself out.

The artwork seemed pretty bland. That’s not to say it was bad, but nothing about it really captured my attention or made me think it was important to really notice. The sisters’ facepaint shown at the beginning of the book was probably the only memorable piece of art, but it was only done for a meaningless act.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this comic. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but I just don’t think I’d need to know everything about the source material to enjoy a new addition. Other series like Star Wars and Harry Potter make references back to its source material for new fans to understand. I also don’t know much about drug culture, which is probably what put me off from the series to begin with. I would recommend checking out other comics, which you can read about from other reviewers on this site.

Water Weed is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Water Weed-Rivers of London
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TL;DR

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this comic. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, but I just don’t think I’d need to know everything about the source material to enjoy a new addition. Other series like Star Wars and Harry Potter make references back to its source material for new fans to understand. I also don’t know much about drug culture, which is probably what put me off from the series to begin with. I would recommend checking out other comics, which you can read about from other reviewers on this site.