Illustrator: Young Kim
Publisher: Yen Press
Pub. Date: 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, YA, Graphic Novel
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Adapting the last half of Twilight into a graphic novel, Young Kim keeps her beautiful artwork while completing a disappointing conclusion to the novel. For those who missed the Twilight hype and don’t care about spoilers, Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2, starts with Bella meeting Edward’s vampire family and has a vampire hunting her. After reading a beautiful and well-done first volume, I was disappointed by the sequel.
I significantly liked this volume less than the first. This volume felt more disorganized and without much purpose than the first. It gets into Bella meeting her boyfriend’s parents, having a weird flirty bit where Edward plays scary vampire, getting into the family’s vampiric history, and then a small coven of vampires start to hunt Bella. It’s a lot and overall feels like a disjointed mess of scenes with a Bella who’s flat through most of the story. Arguably, the main thread is that meeting the Cullens drags Bella into all of the vampire drama, which climbs and climaxes with James, the vampire tracker. But I did not feel like this was a significant point while reading the graphic novel. I blame this more on Stephenie Meyer’s writing than Kim’s adaptation because it’s supposed to retain the author’s story and because the main issue was how the novel was divided for adaptation. All of this bothers me because this is a failing of splitting a complete novel into arbitrary parts. I might have enjoyed it more if both volumes were one adaptation, only if it connected well with the first volume.
Bella isn’t much of a person in this volume. She’s about as flat as Rosalie for most of it. She’s almost a doll. This isn’t to say that Bella is entirely without character development. When her loved ones are at risk, she takes discrete, quick action to save them. Most of what we know about the family relationships is that she is self-sacrificing so that her mom can be happy and doesn’t have a close relationship with her dad. Then she makes careful choices to protect and rescue her parents toward the end. My issue with her is that she doesn’t do much for most of the volume and seems to exist as the love interest in awe of everything until her life is at risk.
Edward feels even more controlling in this volume, and it bothers me. It’s played off as romantic when he feels the need to play scary vampire, and then he totally ignores Bella trying to voice her worries and plans when they’re being chased by other vampires. He disturbs me even more in just this volume.
I did like meeting the family again and getting to know their histories. It gave more character development to people other than the Canon (relation)ship.
The quality of the art is generally still beautiful and sometimes Food Wars!-style photographic, but I think less effort was put in to Bella this time. A detail I like is that all of the vampires have their bruised eyes. I also liked the deliberate use of color in memory and attack scenes. The action scenes were also alright, but I kept imagining the movie instead. I also miss the narration style where there’s pretty borders around blocks of text.
Overall, Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2, is an accurate and visually beautiful adaptation, but the author’s writing and the choice of how to split the original novel made the adaptation disappointing. Read it if you want to keep the momentum going from the first volume, but it doesn’t stand well on its own.