Top critical review
There's Promise Here
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2020
I grew up with Animorphs. Got the first book through the Scholastic Book Order in 4th grade and read them faithfully up through the end of the series. That series, plus getting into comics around the same time, really helped shape my interests in science fiction and storytelling. Hearing there would be a graphic novel adaptation of Animorphs was an exciting day for me!
For the most part, this is a pretty faithful adaptation of the first novel (as far as I can remember- it's been a while since I last read it). I think it was lacking a bit in defining the characters and their relationships, but the major plot points are there. It serves as a good introduction to the series.
The art is good overall, although I don't know if it's quite the right style for dark tone of the series. The aliens, animals (and associated morph sequences), and action are all very well-depicted, but the main characters all look like they stepped out of a children's comic. There are many scenes where the kids are just hanging around talking, and that style just doesn't quite fit the dialog. Plus, they all essentially have the same face (and two of them have very similar hair), making those scenes lack the visual interest this medium thrives on.
I have to mention the cover. The book series had such iconic cover art and a great logo. The graphic novel cover abandons all of that in exchange for two disconnected art pieces and some really ugly typography. Who approved this?
I think this series has a lot of promise. The artwork just needs to find a better balance between the heavy themes of the series (a likely the tastes of us now-adult original fans) and a style that appeals to kids. I think Grine has the range for it. I'm looking forward to the second volume (and probably rereading some of the old books in the meantime).