Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Ben Stenbeck
Coloured by Michelle Madsen
Lettered by Clem Robins
After foiling a witch coven’s plot to kill Queen Victoria, Edward Grey was knighted for services in protection of Crown and Queen. His investigations into occult goings-on in London and beyond earned him the title Sir Edward—and a bitter rivalry with the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra . . . while skeptical Londoners mocked him with the nickname Witchfinder.
When the supernatural is done right you get so much more than chills and thrills. What Mike and Chris bring to this is a genuine mystery adventure that just happens to be set in a world with supernatural occurances, creatures and secret organisations. Sir Edward knows this world all too well and while the masses think him nothing more than a fanciful caricature of a man he’s real and investigating the things for the crown that shouldn’t be public knowledge. The characterisation and the story itself is wonderfully done as we delve in a world where he’s skeptical, practical and utterly aware of the dangers.
We open this issue where we left off with the trio in the cemetery where the dead have risen and are attacking. There’s an originality to this that you don’t expect. While Edward tries to find a way to combat these undead and the solution isn’t one that one would expect. Just because the lore says one thing doesn’t mean it’s the only thing. If it weren’t for this kind of creativity stories wouldn’t be as entertaining as they are and besides who’s to say that there’s only one way to dispatch the walking dead?
The interior artwork with it’s nighttime eerie feeling really does a wonderful job in setting that dark mysterious occult tone and feel. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective really control the flow of the story nicely. While i’m usually an advocate for more background use the limited use of it here actually highlights the action sequences and that feeling of being alone against creatures that are meant to frighten.
As the mystery deepens and Edward’s own dreams conspire against him or warn him take your pick, things get more tense and interesting. Then of course there’s the whole deal with the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra and their motives in all this. With his past dealings with them Edward has every right to be wary of them and their motivations however this time around it would appear that they’ve got similar end goals and the Queen has seen visions of Edward in the midst of the coming rising army of the dead.
This is a completely engrossing tale with multiple angles where the occult is the backdrop for the mystery of who, what and why this case is happening. There’s an intelligence behind the story here that makes it even more interesting to read.