Review – Weird Detective #3 (of 5) (Dark Horse Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Story: Fred Van Lente
Art: Guiu Vilanova, Mauricio Wallace
Release Date: 24th August 2016

Weird Detective #3: Shadow Outta Brooklyn is, as the title suggests, a love letter to H. P. Lovecraft. Featuring an Innsmouth monster, a clever poke at cosmic indifferentism with its alien backstory, and some of the wittiest nihilistic dialogue between two detectives since the first season of True Detective graced our screens, this issue is the most Lovecraftian yet.

With his sharp tan jacket and flair for encountering oddities of the preternatural persuasion, Detective Sebastian Greene is an homage to 70s television supernatural sleuth Carl Kolchak, with the weirdness of Fox Mulder’s later incarnation of the character, via his open-minded FBI agent, in the X-Files. Greene doesn’t want to believe though, as he is literally the weird detective of the title and carries his own supernatural secret. Detective Sana Fayez has been partnered with Greene in order to monitor him, due to his sudden, successful transformation from average detective to weird detective.

In this issue, the pair continues their search for the Juice Box Killer, as Fayez conducts her own investigation into Greene. Seamlessly intersecting these storylines in this current instalment, writer Fred Van Lente increases the tension and provides some interesting commentary on the political aspect of bureaucracy via the wonderful exchanges between Fayez and Greene. It’s a testament to his writing that realistic dialogue, with societal references, can be juxtaposed so easily with an underwater battle between Lovecraftian monsters. Artist Guiu Vilanova must also be credited in this regard, as his classic style beautifully pulls together the storylines and various thematic elements.

The title of the comic series itself is a nostalgic nod to the American fantasy and horror magazine, Weird Tales, which published some of Lovecraft’s early work, among with that of other famous writers such as Ray Bradbury and Robert Bloch. Added to the vintage design and fantastically bright colouring of the comic, courtesy of colourist Mauricio Wallace, the title also evokes 1950s pre-code comic series such as Weird Terror from Comic Media and Crime SuspenSeries from Entertaining Comics.

With its fusion of the police procedural, monsters and cosmic horror, fans of 1950s horror and crime comics, Lovecraft, and television series such as True Detective, X-Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Twin Peaks will adore this clever, witty and comprehensive comic.

Rating: 5/5.

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rebThe writer of this piece was: Rebecca Booth
Rebecca Tweets from @rebeccalbooth

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