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‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #5:’ Advance Comic Book Review

This is it: the final issue of the Dirk Gently comic series. At least, the first arc of it. The issue informs us that there will be a new Dirk Gently comic adventure coming next year. Will I read it? I haven’t decided yet. At the moment, I’m past the seething nerd rage I experienced over the first couple of issues, but I’m still not entirely sold on the comic either.

First of all, despite the name, this comic doesn’t feel like a Dirk Gently story, nor does the protagonist feel at all like Dirk Gently. I’ve said before that enjoying it works best if you distance it from Douglas Adams and the books that he wrote and take the comic as its own standalone title, which just happens to share a few names in common with the book series. Sometimes, it helps if you squint.

There are too many plot threads and characters to go into them in any detail this late in the game. The main ones involve a time-traveling Egyptian mummy who feeds on the life forces of those around him, a husband-and-wife serial killer duo out for revenge, and some golden cell phones that suck out your soul. Cell phones in general actually play a significant role in this issue, as crowds of otherwise unimportant characters are seen indulging in various types of social media, even in the midst of the chaos that surrounds them. The impact of social media on our current society seems to be a major concern of this issue, and the source of several attempts at comedy—some successful and some not.

Meanwhile, Dirk enacts his incredibly complicated and clever plan to resolve all of the various plotlines at once—while several of the people he’s picked up over the course of the adventure argue over which of them gets to be his assistant.

The resolution is reasonably satisfying, and it’s been a reasonably fun story throughout. If you’ve read this far in the series, you might as well read this issue as well. If you haven’t begun the series yet, it’s decent enough, funny in parts, and you might enjoy it. Do yourself a favor, though. If you haven’t read the original Douglas Adams novels, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul, read those first. They’re much better written, funnier, a good bit stranger, and all in all more worthy of your time.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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