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‘The Exceptional Adventures of Seyfettin Efendi:’ TPB Review

The title character is a sleuth, much like what Sherlock Holmes would be like if he were solving X-Files cases in 1924 Istanbul. (What an interesting location for this story!) Seyfettin Efendi has to use his brain and can’t rely on our modern science. He’s a smart guy – a step ahead of everyone at most all times. He has a team at his side, more like soldiers who do whatever he asks of them without argument, mostly. They trust him, mostly.

This collection of the first four issues of The Exceptional Adventures of Seyfettin Efendi from comic creator, writer, and artist Devrim Kunter is not bad. The characters are just interesting enough, the conflict and mystery just involving enough that you don’t want to stop reading, but there isn’t a drive to get to the end to see what’s really going on. He smartly allows there to be some tension between one of Efendi’s “soldiers” and Efendi, which again is smart. Constant conflict keeps the reader involved.

One thing that drew me along was Kunter’s knowledge of classic horror mythologies. He weaves these elements pretty seamlessly into the story, drawing from their power and accessibility to fuel his own creativity.

On the other hand, the biggest loss to me was that of the sole female character who is quickly introduced as the new member of the team, brought out onto her first mission, and a page later is possibly kidnapped, never to appear again for this batch. This loses a potentially interesting female voice amongst the testosterone-fueled antics.

In the end, while Efendi is smart, he never quite comes to life. The characters mostly blend together in the way they speak and act. He stands out only because he has the answers they don’t have. I leave the book not really feeling like I’ve gone through this with them, instead I feel like it happened to some people I still don’t quite know or care about enough to see what happens to them next. Maybe as the world opens up, Kunter will delve more deeply into these dynamics. He has the intelligence for it.




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