Comic Review: The Unwritten – Vol. 3 – Dead Man’s Knock

Continuing on with the literary fantasy comic The Unwritten, with volume 3.

Title: The Unwritten – Vol. 3 – Dead Man’s Knock
Written & Illustrated by Mike Carey, Peter Gross, and Ryan Kelley.
Published by DC Comics under their Vertical Label in 2011.

Available from

The Premise

The fourteenth installment of the Tommy Taylor series of novels is about to hit stores. However, this installment isn’t beig written by Wilson Taylor, Tom’s father, and the creator of the series. Instead, it’s written by the Cabal as a trap for Wilson. Can Tom Taylor contact his father and learn the truth before the Cabal gets to Wilson? What is the truth behind Lizzie’s background? Why does Tom have this power?

High Points

This volume finally gives us some answers, without stringing us along by the nose (as with volume 2), while still leaving us some questions as well.

Low Points

There’s a bit with Lizzy early that made me feel like we were still going to get lead along by the nose this volume. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Also, the choose-your-own-adventure section was kind of hard to follow.

Content Notes

Some bloody violence.


Originality: The bogus sequel idea is definitely something I hadn’t seen before. 4/6

Artwork: Still as rock solid as before. 5/6

Story: There are still questions in search of answers here, but now I have a bit of a better grasp of what’s going on – sort of. I still don’t know quite what the stakes are (free will? human imagination? the existence of fiction?). Nor do I know why the Cabal is pursuing these goals (to rule the world?, because they’re characters from fiction seeking revenge for their lot?). I kind of hope that we get answers to some of these problems sooner rather than later. 4/5.

Characterization: Tom Taylor’s frustration in the last volume (as well as this one), has always felt justified & comprehensible. Richie Savoy is obnoxious – but it looks like the “tabloid” journalist aspect of his character is going to mellow out. Lizzie gets just as much development as Tom, if not more. 5/6.

Emotional Response: Wilson Taylor’s death would have had greater impact if we’d spent more time with him, and he hadn’t been written like a complete jerk. Instead, my response is more related to the questions that haven’t gotten answers, and might not now that he’s dead. 5/6.

In total, The Unwritten Vol. 3 gets 32/42.