Image Comics 2015
Written by Ales Kot
Illustrated by Matt Taylor
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Antoine Wolfe, a hardboiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse, California-style. Also featured: a bag full of cash, a serial killer on the loose, and many secrets.
Okay Ales I love you seriously the way this issue opens and kind of ends with the Scheettish Vheempir yeah okay that was just a stroke of sheer brilliance. Just the fact that he thought of that and it made it into the issue sealed this book’s fate for me as one of the most offbeat and brilliant pieces of storytelling around.
Then we get back to Wolf with his unexpected young visitor. A thirteen year old girl who may be the antichrist whose grandmother, a ghost, has led her to Wolf and wants her to avoid the police since she doesn’t know which ones to trust and doesn’t seem intent on leaving anytime soon and isn’t quite mourning the loss of her parents. Actually when questioned about that she makes a lot of sense and comes across much wiser than her years would suggest.
I love the way their conversation is scripted and that she doesn’t flinch or bat an eyelash at learning that the world is filled with Vampires, Werewolves and the like. Regardless of how much he tries to persuade her how dangerous his life and being in it is she doesn’t care it’s I’m here I need your help and that’s that. There’s something incredibly endearing about it really and it just adds this certain something to the mix that while he’s unprepared to deal with you can see he has grudging respect for.
Oh the Santa Ana Winds and what they really are and that she can see them just as clearly as he can yeah that’s a pretty amazing moment. Not just from Ales either because Matt and Lee do some wonderful imagery with for us as well. The colours and the outlines the whole thing is really kind spooky and beautiful.
One subject is brought up twice this issue and honestly Im surprised and laughing about it since it’s not something usually brought up a lot in comics and that we don’t see him squirm from it. People I am such a huge fan of Ales writing because honestly you never know how his mind is going to work or where he’s going to take something or how nonchalantly it’s going to be presented and that’s such a huge draw.
There’s this intelligent simplicity to the way he writes that engages the reader. Case in point is the inner dialogue Wolfe brings us as he tries to figure out everything that’s happening in his life and connect the dots as it were. I like how he thinks and how he tries to unravel the puzzle around him it keeps the reader engaged and interested not to mention shows a nice way of thinking that perhaps you wouldn’t have thought of.
The end of the issue spotlights something coming and again the way one character talks is just something that will stand out.
This isn’t your normal supernatural detective style story. There’s a panache to this that really helps it stand out and make it a must read book.