Vertigo’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Part One Scheduled for November 2012

In October we learned that DC Comics had won the rights to adapt Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy of thrillers into six graphic novels, starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in two volumes. In recent weeks we’ve seen reports that Scottish crime novelist Denise Mina was set to script. Given an officialĀ announcement yesterday from Vertigo, we now have the whole board.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo volume one is set for publication in November, written by Mina (Vertigo Crime’s A Sickness in the Family) with art by Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer) and Andrea Mutti (Vertigo Crime’s The Executor, reviewed here). Here’s the cover by Lee Bermejo.

This comes as a wonderful bit of happenstance for me as I’ve been mainlining Mina’s prose work, including the three entries in her Paddy Meehan sequence to date and the two Alex Morrow detective novels. She’s a marvelous writer, a student of human behavior in all its eccentricity. Her work is rich with observation and insight. Why we lie sometimes when there’s seemingly little at stake. Her characters burst at the seams with a Dickensian level of individuality. This knack makes her a deft crime writer and an inspired choice to helm these adaptations, especially given the complexity of Lisbeth Salander, the eponymous Girl.

Having read Larsson’s three novels and the film adaptations to date, I’m especially excited about this project. The Millennium Trilogy is a flawed series, but as the films have shown, there’s terrific stores of potential. I’m eager to see an exponentially gifted storyteller like Mina lend her talents to the adventures of Salander and Blomkvist. There’s real opportunity for nuance here, and certainly for the adaptation to transcend its source material.


  1. It would be great if this brought a few thousand additional regular readers to Vertigo’s titles…

  2. That front cover is gorgeous, really cool punk rock. Who saw the Fincher adaptation? I think the hype was bad for the movie, went in expecting it to be a great movie, but it was only a good movie.

    • I loved it. I couldn’t stand the book. The movie had 1 of the same problems, in that Daniel Craig’s plotline is kinda boring until Lisbeth joins him, but I wasn’t bored overall, which is more than I can say for the novel.

  3. That is a fantastic cover right there. I’ve read the first book and saw the first movie adaptation from Sweden, but haven’t gone much further. I’ll probably check this out.

  4. I was thinking after the book and two films, I didn’t need any more Girl with…but that is great cover. If inside matches i might have to check it out, plus I’m curious to see how its adapted.

    Like it’s been said, if This gets people into the store, great!

  5. This looks really cool..I’ve seen the Swedish films and really enjoyed them so I will be checking this out.

  6. I really enjoyed the books & the Swedish films (yet to see Fincher’s) so I’m in for this. It’s really heartening to see Vertigo nab such a high-profile project.

  7. Oh boy…yet ANOTHER adaptation of this book…by Nov 2012, if you haven’t read the original, listened to it in audiobook form, watched either of the two major motion picture releases either in theater or on dvd, or basically gleaned the entire plot from the plethora of news and internet articles swirling about, then damn, you are really good at sticking to one and only one media format. Its like Song of Ice and Fire or Twilight, at some point you just don’t need another adaptation, and its just looks like lazy people who can’t write stories for themselves and are in for a quick buck.

    • Or it’s a good way to get someone to enjoy a story they might not have otherwise and then maybe they might seek out the original? Or it’s a good way to get people to try a medium they were previously averse to by using a story they already love? You are right that DC (and every other publisher/studio/company, etc.) wouldn’t make this if they didn’t think they could make money off of a known property, but there is still a lot of good that can come out of adaptations.

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      From what I’ve read, Mina intends to add some richness to Salander’s character and make sense of a few failings in Larsson’s novels. I think it’s worth it.

    • I’m not against adaptations, I’m against doing 15 different adaptations within a 3 year period. There is already a prose format if reading is your thing, and if you want something more visual, there are two movies made within 2 years of one another, one of which takes liberties with the plot and another which portrays things more closely. In that sense, the foreign film is exactly like the comic, a visual adaptation in which you have to read the dialogue and it makes changes to the plot for the sake of realism and filling in certain holes. Do you really think that people are going to want to really jump into comics because there is yet ANOTHER adaptation of a series that has been done to death in recent years? Cause once again, those Game of Thrones and Twilight books are just FLYING off the shelves like the new 52 right?

    • Like Twilight and GoT, this series is incredibly popular. There have been comic adaptations of almost every popular contemporary novel(s) and mainstream film for decades. Not everything’s about drawing in new readers. This is a chance for comic fans who either don’t know anything about the story or just want to enjoy it in comic form to soak it up. If you aren’t one of those people, than just ignore it.

    • I think it is very possible that this book could create a few new comic book readers. Yes the examples you gave probably wouldn’t do that, but their “failure” is for reasons that more than likely won’t plague this book. With Vertigo behind this, there are factors in this book that those others didn’t have. It has the backing of a multi-million dollar company to be properly distributed and promoted. This book can more easily get on the shelves at Barnes & Noble or the books page on Amazon. I am also almost certain it would be featured in Entertainment Weekly, which is owned by the parent company of DC, Time Warner. With factors like these, it may happen to fall in the hands of a non-comic book reader who might be curious about comics now.

      I’m not saying the goal is to create new readers nor will it create hords of new ones, but if just one person gets turned on to comics, then that along with what Wheelhands said seems to do something that does more good than any actual harm.

    • @Kamilo and @Fett02 both have valid points. As of this moment I can not see how this would appeal in a way the films, and three book have not done to date, except for art stylistic choice. It seems like it would maybe either appeal to a die hard fan, or some one whom doesn’t read books or watch films. I could see a story utilizing the characters in a new story arc. I maybe mistaken, but I think it’s a really small percentage of people getting into comics because of the adaption of books/films. If the scenario occurred, it’s definitely an exception to the rule. I can’t see how Mina’s tightening up of the characters in a shorter formatted book could help sell/or explore the multiple ideas developed in the novels. All I can say is good luck, and we will see the numbers when the first one is published.

  8. If anyone is looking to make money off of these adaptations, it would be Larsson’s girlfriend. As I understand it, she ended up with the rights to the trilogy after fighting it out in court with his relatives. I’m not at all familiar with Denise Mina’s work, but I can see potential to add to these stories as the novels were flawed in part by a lack of good editing.

  9. I really dug Mina’s Hellblazer run, not sure if I care enough about Girl With… to pick this up. If they do the 2nd & 3rd books I’d read those.

  10. I am not a fan of Bermejo. But goddamn that is a beautiful cover.

    I’m halfway through the first novel right now, and after a slow start I’m really enjoying it. I’ve managed to avoid spoilers and don’t plan on seeing the film adaptations until I’ve finished. If I still have Dragon fever come November, I might check this out.

    @Paul: In one short paragraph, you’ve managed to bump Mina up to “on deck” on my To Read list. This a testament to your skills as a wordsmith.

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      You won’t regret it. Check out FIELD OF BLOOD (the first of the Paddy Meehan books about a young journalist in the 80s) or either of the Alex Morrow books, STILL MIDNIGHT or END OF THE WASP SEASON. I read those last two out of order and it didn’t really matter. Enjoy!

    • Will do. Thanks.

  11. So Happy right now! I loved Fincher’s version! Can’t Wait!!! : )

  12. Love it.

  13. Indifferent either way towards the series in general, and even I feel its being over-exposed. Can’t wait for the Saturday Morning cartoon adaptation :P.

    Sexy cover at least.

  14. I don’t get it. Does she have the words “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” tattooed on her back?

  15. If this is an edited version of the book… My pants will be shat. I need to get out and see the movie.