Archive for Fred Van Lente

Monster Noir

Things are still really busy, and they’re just going to get worse. But I think I do have the time to knock out a quick review of this old-ish graphic novel. Let’s take a look at Weird Detective: The Stars Are Wrong by Fred Van Lente and Guiu Vilanova.

This mystery/horror comic came out in 2017, and its plot focuses on Detective Sebastian Greene, the weirdest officer in the NYPD. No one likes him, and he talks like he learned English from a Speak-and-Spell, but he has the best clearance rate of any detective in the city.

He’s also not human. He’s not even a little bit human.

And he’s in the middle of investigating a series of gruesome murders that he needs to solve if he wants to save the world. Not our world — the world he originally came from. He doesn’t particularly care what happens to our world.

And even worse, the brass is insisting he start working with a partner. Detective Sana Fayez has her own secrets and her own agenda — namely, figuring out what’s up with Greene.

Can Greene and Fayez keep their secrets from each other? Can one horror from beyond the veil of time stop another horror from beyond the veil of time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The book is full of lots of great characters, very few of them entirely virtuous, but all of them, even the monsters, full of personality. Motivations are clear and sensible — no one is evil strictly for the sake of evil. Even the most horrific creatures are motivated by things like survival, hunger, protection of family, etc.

The central crimes being investigated — the murders of the Juice Box Killer — are excellently creepy, which is a great way to bring readers in and to keep them interested. It’s fun to see Greene and Fayez interact and scheme, but watching them track the real killer is great fun.

Looking for a cool horror story blending Lovecraftian horror with the police procedural? You’ll want to pick this one up.

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