Weird Detective: The Stars Are Wrong
(W) Fred Van Lente, (A) Guiu Vilanova
Dark Horse Comics
The streets of New York have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, seeking to usher in the unimaginable evil of the Old Ones. And the only man capable of fighting against the unspeakable terrors isn’t a man at all. Detective Sebastian Greene is one of them. Collects Weird Detective #1–#5.
* Fred Van Lente’s newest original comic series!
Weird Detective is a part buddy cop police drama, part Sam Spade, and part The Shadow over Innsmouth. It may be made up of varied parts, but overall it works very well, with a solid story, strong characters, interesting aliens, and suitable moments of dread. The weirdness can sometimes come across a little flat, but overall it’s entirely enjoyable to fans of cops, private dicks, or existential horror.
The art is fine throughout, with little room for complaint. The world is solid, bright where it should be visible, and dark where the terrors are lurking. Some things may look a little strange, but there’s usually a perfectly reasonable explanation for that, as opposed to it being a mistake or simply sloppy.
The story can be a little thin in places, trying so hard to be so many things to so many people, but it does manage to pull it off in the end. Greene’s superhuman abilities may make all the police work a little too easy, but that’s only part of the fun, and the detective work being done usually means some exciting extra-terrestrial violence is coming soon, so it all balances out nicely.
And though things can be easy on them, the characters do stand out as strong, unique people. Greene has his weirdness and owns it throughout, and Fayez’s struggles to balance love, motherhood, and police work never feels forced or contrived. Some of the disposable baddies even manage to show off interesting personalities in their short appearances.
Weird Detective tries to appeal to a lot of different fans, and perhaps diehards in those genres won’t get enough of their particular poisons, but I think most readers will enjoy the smorgasbord of tastes on offer here. Sure, Lovecraft might do horror better, and if you want a really solid detective story, you should still turn to Spillane, but if a little bit of everything sounds good to you, Weird Detective is sure to please.