Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Christopher Mitten
Release Date: 17th September 2014
I first read Criminal Macabre: A Cal McDonald Mystery a good few years ago and loved it. It was one of a few Niles / Templesmith comics I read that got me hooked on both creators and now I like to follow them like a good little stalker ghoul. Cal is an ex-cop who investigates the supernatural; vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies…all the lovely stuff of horror that Niles likes to get his teeth into.
Here, in The Third Child, Cal has become a monster himself; raven-winged, red eyes, near full-on vamp mode. He is called by Mo’lock to investigate a disturbance in the supernatural ether – something is coming. Unfortunately for us humans, “something’ appear to be here already. A blobby, dead-eyed baby and its Mini-Me is sucking the life, the fear, the pain, the everything from humans and making them killers. Cal just has to stop it, stop himself from ‘becoming’ and possibly something else as well. This promises to be the more interesting strand of this arc.
The artwork by Mitten is solid; bold, clean lines, as dynamic as Cal’s wings coupled with dark, Gothic-inspired colours and bright red blood. I like it. Admittedly, and perhaps controversially because a lot of people don’t like his suggestive, ethereal art, I do prefer Ben Templesmith’s art for Criminal Macabre. I would love to have seen what Templesmith made of Cal’s raven wings. It’s almost the perfect marriage – Niles and Templesmith. But you can’t have everything, and Mitten’s work is definitely pretty good. One to keep up with.
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