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.
There are plenty of supernatural offerings on stands today so it’s what a writer does that makes their own take unique and stand out in the crowd. Ales is not your typical writer there’s more layers to his work and you should really pay attention to what you’re reading. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading his work. I also have to say Matt and Lee are killing it here with the interiors, the first page with those massive bookshelves are to die for!
I loved this opening sequence I mean this conversation Wolfe is having with Freddy’s landlord this eccentric, putting it nicely, vampire. The history these two share is interesting something for the back burner to be explored at later date. Though bringing up the Santa Ana Winds and what comes with it is more ominous. This world really does have some very old gods, legends, demons and things that go bump in the night. Regardless if they slumber or aren’t taking a direct role in the things the younger ones do it’s still a looming threat. This adds a certain amount of tension to the story that should paid attention to.
The conversation they have seems to go in these weird waves of memories, ties and what Wolfe has come for all flowing like some winding river that uses creeks before getting back to the main flow. Including the use of the novel that Wolfe brought along in case he had to wait for the meeting. Personally I love that he brought a book since I always travel with one for the same reasons, you never do know when you’ll have to wait. Anyway I found it oddly comforting that this ebb and flow of conversation was so abstract at times. It made reading it all the more interesting with nuggets of things that flesh out the characters more fully.
Ah Anita’s ghostly grandmother’s conversation with Freddy on the hand was much more straightforward. Also that Anita’s father is the same man who set Antoine on fire, see issue one, to stalk some ghost lady….. yeah you begin to see the bigger picture here. Anita didn’t really chose Antoine willy nilly and it’s meant that the two would meet and help each other out. Though I have to tell you that while this whole three way conversation doesn’t mince words it isn’t any less spellbinding or information revealing than the one Antoine was having.
I have to say the way things are unfolding are exciting and fun while being kind of creepy and mysterious. Yes I can kind of see a pattern, like the beginnings of something but not all that solidly, in play and it’s that thread that makes me want to follow it could just be a red herring. Ales has created this world, story and way of telling it that how things play out is more important than thinking you know what’s to come.
There’s more happening here than meets the eye or being revealed. What’s the police department’s role going to be in all this? Does Wolfe know that he’s being played or is it just something he may sense and doesn’t like it but is determined to do this his way? Fate may be inevitable but somehow it’s how you go along with it on it’s terms or yours that makes the difference in the end and it’ll be interesting to see which route this one takes.
Smarter, more interesting and by far a heck of a lot more diverse than you’d expect but one of the more entertaining reads for sure.