This has to be one of the best mini-series that Dark Horse is publishing. The concept behind this story is one of those that you wish you had thought of yourself. What’s more entertaining about this series is that even though the zero issue gets you ready for it, the first issue still hits like a storm. There’s another parallel to this story that’s not quite obvious and that’s Sherlock Holmes. It’s not just the “case file” style of subtitle on the title, but also the fact that our good Doctor refers to the “game being afoot.” I point this out because the “Suicide Blonde” doesn’t refer to an INXS song, but rather to the apparent suicide of a blonde woman in a motel room.
Our story picks up in the motel room as the Sheriff, his deputy and our Doctor Harry stand around the body. The Sheriff is quick to kick the deputy out after he makes a comment about it being a waste. His sister apparently killed herself a year prior and so he’s instantly invested in the case. Harry and the Sheriff walk through the scene and Harry speculates that there’s poison in the champagne that’s sitting out. It would also match up to the scene of the dead woman thrashing around and puking everywhere. The deputy returns with a bag of trash that contains a matching champagne glass and an envelope of white powder. This suicide is moved to murder status instantly.
The Sheriff and Harry interview the waitress that saw our dead woman the night before. She sets the scene pretty well, but then drops the bombshell of the Mayor’s visit to her table. It looks pretty bad for the mayor considering the woman was pregnant and now dead. Let’s just say that the story gets really good from here. I don’t want to wait for the next issue because I want it now it’s that damn good.
The writing and pacing is spot on as always for this series, but the mystery is leaps and bounds ahead. It seems simple as all good mysteries should be, but it’s not… as all good mysteries should be. There is plenty to be discovered still. Also the government parts are very thrilling as they add intensity to the already intense story. The bit with the little girl was also interesting as it either shows that Harry’s power has no effect on children or that he’s losing his effect in general. I’m going to go with the former on that one.
The art is always fantastic and it really boils down to the coloring. The coloring and variety of how the scenes are colored adds so much to the visuals of the story. The opening page in the hotel is almost all purple and it makes the simple scene very sad and sobering. It’s hard to look at the dead woman and even harder when you see puke all over herself. The opening scene is just a fantastic highlight of Parkhouse’s skills as he delivers an impactful scene that’s emotional to read.
Even though this is the second volume of the series and technically the second issue of the volume, you can still jump on with this issue. That’s that fantastic thing about the story telling and writing. You’re given enough information about the previous series so that you’re not lost when the characters bring it up, but for the most part the story is built to be welcoming to new readers. If you enjoy mysteries, aliens or Sherlock Holmes then why not try a series that has all three?
Writer: Peter Hogan Artist: Steve Parkhouse Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/11/13