Comics Over the past couple of years, tv shows which would in the past, not necessarily by considered for licensing into a spin-off comic book series have appeared on the shelves. While it's not too much of a stretch to imagine Buffy: The Vampire Slayer in strip form, who would have thought cop shows such as CSI or The Shield would work in that format? Now the one programme which would seem to be impossible to transfer because its structure should only work within the demands of episodic television is published in graphic form.

In 24: One Shot, a prequel to the first season, we find Jack Bauer on his first day at CTU, meeting the team for the first time (some making more of an impression than others as you might expect). This being 24 within pages, Jack finds himself in an usual position of being the one man defending a young woman, the all important information source, against a terrorist threat.

As expected, in comparison with the elaborate storylines which appeared in three seasons of the television series it feels like quite a slight tale closer to the single story per hour format. In the book, which follows the series by taking place over a whole day, every two pages constitutes an hour with a clock at the top of each left hand page keeping the reader in touch with the time. Also, through clever use of crosscutting frames and dialogue and by following the mood of the series of separating the main characters as much as possible it just about gets away with feeling like its source.

Unsurprisingly, its Jack's story and on the nose writing from J. C. Vaughn and Mark L. Haynes keeps him perfectly in character, with dialogue which could be spoken by Keifer Sutherland. His likeness, and in fact the likenesses of all the character are perfectly in tune with reality. With Renado Guedes art it looks like an episode of 24, closely realizing the lighting and staging of the scenes as filmed - and those knowing looks are also there in force.

It's a surprising and interesting experiment, although its difficult to see how it might sustain itself as an ongoing series of books. It's impossible to see how that might work - an hour per issue and you risk the audience loosing interest as the day takes two years to be completed. A day an issue and repetition is sure to set in. And anyway, how many days can we spend with Jack before we risk overrunning the work of the tv series?

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