The Unwritten 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

the unwritten volume 1 tommy taylor and the bogus identity cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Fun beginning to the series

Needs a real plan for the development

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Unwritten

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Mike Carey/Peter Gross

Artist: Peter Gross

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2009

the unwritten #2 cover dc comics

The Unwritten #2

Reprints The Unwritten #1-5 (July 2009-November 2009).  Wilson Taylor built an empire based on the Tommy Taylor books.  The fan favorite adventures of the boy wizard Tommy Taylor and his friends were published all over the world.  When Wilson Taylor disappeared before the publication of the final Tommy Taylor novel, his son Tom Taylor found himself in the public eye as the inspiration for Tommy Taylor.  When a woman named Lizzie Hexam accuses Tom Taylor of not being the real Tom Taylor, Tom finds himself with the world questioning if he’s a fraud or the hero they grew up reading.

Written by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, The Unwritten Volume 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity is a DC Comics series printed under the Vertigo imprint.  Featuring art by Gross, issues in this volume were also collected as The Unwritten:  The Deluxe Edition—Book 1.

With series like Fables and Y:  The Last Man, DC’s Vertigo titles were kind of receiving a renaissance when The Unwritten was released.  I decided to check out the title and enjoyed it, but not enough to keep up with it.  Revisiting the book, it does have a fun twist to it that makes it worth reading if you are a fan of literature or Harry Potter.

The series obviously takes its direction from the Harry Potter series, but begins to blend reality with fiction.  Like A.A. Milne who based the Christopher Robin character of Winnie-the-Pooh on his own son Christopher Robin Milne, Tom Taylor is supposed to be his character’s namesake…but as the story unfolds, Tommy Taylor might actually be Tom Taylor.  This reveal has Tom diving into his past and as a result into literature.

the unwritten #5 cover dc comics

The Unwritten #5

The character was taught about the “real life” literary locations and that is tied to the story.  This volume keeps those ties rather vague which lends itself to reading more of the collections.  I love to visit places that are portrayed in books and movies because they blend these realities.  The series tapping into that aspect of fandom has a ton of possibilities.

The part of the book I’m not sure I’m keen on is the overall conspiracy/mystery.  It feels a bit too much like Fables with Tommy being hunted by someone who seems to turn people essentially into fiction with his touch.  The story also has a back-up story which has this fiction conspiracy lasting years by exploring how Rudyard Kipling rose to fame with special help from a mysterious organization.

The Unwritten 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity is a good start to the series.  It has enough mystery and interesting characters to get you back to the second volume, but like many series built around a mystery it could also run the risk of not showing its hand soon enough to keep the readers involved.  The Unwritten 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity was followed by The Unwritten 2:  Inside Man.

Related Links:

The Unwritten 2:  Inside Man

The Unwritten 3:  Dead Man’s Knock

The Unwritten 4:  Leviathan

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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