“I crave mental exultation. That is why I have chosen my own profession. Or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”
- Sherlock Holmes
The above quote is mentioned in issue one of Dark Horse Comics’ new lovecraftian tale of monsters, bloody crime and mystery, and it so accurately reflects both the book and its main character Detective Sebastian Greene. Of course, he’s not really the hero here, the ancient alien creature inhabiting his body is…
His kind have existed for millennia as a collective consciousness, spanning out across the cosmos after the death of their world at the hands of the old gods, which definitely share more than a passing resemblance with The Great Cthulhu of Lovecraftian lore. Now he’s here in his brand new Detective Greene suit, his oddness repeatedly being passed off as him being merely “from Canada.” A below the belt quip I feel, but it does make you chuckle! It seems what happened to his world is now happening to Earth and he’s here to stop it with the aid of all his delightfully odd senses, he has 17 in total and they’re all more ridiculous than the last. But you will love them all I assure you.
Issue two picks up right where the previous instalment left off. Greene’s new partner Detective Sana Fayez had been told to keep an eye on him and in an attempt to dump this “dead weight” he led her into a trap. We open with her fighting off these would-be attackers in spectacular fashion and Greene learns that she could prove an ally in his cosmos spanning battle against evil. You see, something is draining people, leaving only their skin as a husk, they’ve been dubbed the “Juice Box” killer but ‘ole Detective Greene knows there’s more to the story. As the body count ratchets up, we see our ancient anti-hero slowly put the pieces together, ending up in rather hot water at the end.
If the content of Weird Detective wasn’t already thought-provoking and eye-poppingly wondrous enough, the art from Vilanova is superb. It’s playful and serious all at the same time, and Wallace’s colours really pile on the mood and crime noir vibe of the story. There’s a different feel from page to page, one moment you’re looking at a plain, subtly toned office and the next, you’re hit with bombastic, bright purple hues and neon glows, popping out from their black backdrops.
The lettering works well throughout the issue too, helping move the story along whilst providing some background and context to our protagonist. Some comics can run on for pages and pages with endless personal dialogue, which often pulls you out of the story, but Fred Van Lente has been nicely restrained here and the effect is brilliant.
This is a very grown-up book. The writing is a step above many others out there, including a number of Dark Horse’s own stories. For those fans of H.P Lovecraft’s twisted monster horror tales, Weird Detective will be an absolute must for you. Looking back there were even a few moments that reminded of Dick Tracy, those fantastic crime noir stories with all their bright neon suits and murder mystery thrills. The final result is one hell of a good read and I’m sure the best is yet to come. But it all begs one final question:
Will you join the collective and help Detective Greene defend the Earth?
[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]