Based on the Hit TV Series

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84576 220 7
Available 25 November 2005

The smash-hit, critically acclaimed TV series
24 comes to comics. In this collection, Jack Bauer and the characters from Los Angeles' Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU) face threats and situations ripped from tomorrow's headlines...

24 collects three tales - 24: One Shot, 24: Midnight Sun and Stories - Jack Bauer faces three days of action and drama, as he must protect a terrorist from her former allies, resolve a hostage situation involving radical Chechen separatists, and battle economic and ecological chaos when terrorists assault an oil drilling station.

Hmmm can 24 translate well from the small screen to the world of graphic novels? It's not the most obvious of transitions.

But to be honest, this is not the fault of the writers and artists - the format doesn't really sit well for comic book retelling. It's very hard to convey that each story is set in a 24 hour time frame. The way that this is indicated is by a LCD clock display every page or so. To be honest, I don't see why they didn't just dispense with the whole 24-hour concept for the graphic novels and have them set up as tales from the 24 universe that weren't necessarily following the events over a 24-hour time period.

The writing and artwork for this collection is pretty good. It's easy to tell who is supposed to be who. Although, Manny Clark's work on Stories was a little peculiar. Clark is either a fantastic painter, or he's up to speed on all the tools in PhotoShop - and is not afraid to use them. Most of the likenesses of the cast did look like he'd taken a still from the show and digitally altered it to make it look like his own work. Whether that's the case or not, it was just a little too distracting for my liking. I spent most of the time asking myself whether it was the artists own work, rather than concentrating on the story.

If you've never seen the show then you won't have a clue what's going on, as each story is set in a different time line - with stories before the first season of the TV series, and including one set just before the third season.

While there's nothing ground breakingly original here, fans of the show will no doubt enjoy these short stories.

Nick Smithson

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