This week I didn’t read very many comic books. I have been busy with work and enjoying the summer as much as I can, though I did read a few very good books, such as the finale of the Boom! Studios series, The Spire. Its twist was great, and I am glad I read the issue, but the book I really want to talk about is Darkhorse’s Weird Detective #1 by Fred Van Lente with art by Guiu Vilanova.
This is a strange title about a detective named Sebastian Greene. At first the book starts out being a Holmesian detective story but soon you seem it’s more an ode to Lovecraft and weird fiction than anything else. We start to see that there is more the Greene then a high intellect. As the book continues with more strange and gruesome murders turning up, we find out that Greene is actually an alien from a highly advanced species that has 17 senses. By the end of the book we have seen that the real Greene inhabits his (the alien Greene’s) body on his home world, a world filled with odd tentacle creatures who lack mouths and have vicious-looking claws. We also see several images of his enemies, all clearly the Old Gods of Lovecraftian design.
This book was very well written. I am unfamiliar with the creative team but I think it was a really fun book with a lot of twists and turns. I really enjoyed how we were slowly and subtly introduced to the fact that we are dealing with Cthulu, Dagon, and the rest — though I did dislike the fact that Greene’s odd ways were played off because he was Canadian. I thought it was a poor excuse that everyone kept saying, “oh well you know he is Canadian,” anytime he did something odd or off putting. It made it all the more sweeter when his partner finally had enough and points out that being Canadian doesn’t excuse anything.
The art for this book is also pretty good. The quality of the illustrations, at least for me, kind of slips towards the middle of the book, or maybe I just got tired of it. I think the style really helped hide the fact that it was a Lovecraftian world but once you catch on the art almost stops working for the genre — it work’s great for a detective story but not a Cthulu book.
This book gets a solid 7 out of 10. It is a great book but I don’t think I will be adding it to my pull list anytime soon.