The cover of Weird Detective is both intriguing and somewhat misleading.
But Weird Detective should not be judged for its cover, as the story within is far more interesting.
Detective Sebastian Greene is a highly unusual person. After a rather unremarkable career in the NYPD, Greene seemingly overnight begins solving high-profile cases; ones branded unsolvable by his colleagues.
When the deflated body of a woman is found in a local swimming pool, Greene is forced to partner with Detective Sana Fayez to solve the case. Unbeknownst to Greene, his successes have piqued the curiosity of his superiors and Fayez has been assigned to find out just who Sebastian Greene really is.
This 48 page double first issue brilliantly sets up the premise and allows the comic some breathing room for you to get to know the fascinating lead character.
Sebastian Greene is not simply an investigator of weird crimes, he himself is rather strange. To his colleagues, he is aloof and rather cold. Greene views himself as being apart from humanity and indeed more advanced. But what is interesting is that Greene’s attitude is more of a statement of fact rather than an inflated ego. Writer Fred Van Lente wastes no time in letting us get into Greene’s head and so we see that detachment is not just skin deep.
As the story progresses and we find out the surprisingly true nature of Greene, this attitude and behaviour makes absolute sense.
It’s difficult to talk about Greene in full detail without giving too much away but if, like me you know your Lovecraftian lore, the revelation is a satisfying surprise.
It’s a testament to Van Lente’s good writing that Greene comes across with so much depth that you are almost prepared to forgive the rather unsavoury methods he employs in his work. He is after all, working towards a greater goal, as becomes very clear in this issue.
The artwork by Guiu Vilanova really compliments the story, with vivid backdrops of urban decay, to fantastic glimpses of otherworldly landscapes and beings. Mauricio Wallace and Josan Gonzalez’s colouring really carry Vilanova’s art without overshadowing it. Even in moments where flashbacks are coloured entirely in shades of purple it does not hinder the story but serves it.
This a creative team clearly in sync with one another and it works to the book’s advantage both thematically and stylistically.
The first issue of Weird Detective is a stellar read and for any fans of Lovecraft out there, it is a must buy.
Title: Weird Detective
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
GS Blogger: Matt Davis @DecadentGent