I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to read Inspector Oh #1 right on the heels of finishing Issue #0, and I’ll warn newcomers that Issue #0 really helps lay the groundwork for the relationship between Oh and Ziyi, if you want background to justify the young woman’s actions; however, if you’re okay piecing together backstory from context, hop right in and enjoy this crazy ride to the Ancient Chinese underworld!
Most relatives, as Ziyi bemoans, just ask for money when they’re in trouble; her beloved uncle Oh’s urgent request is to rescue him from death itself. The scrappy fighter must use all of her wits and tricks to face down the guardians of one of the kingdoms of hell (It’s fascinating how Dante/the Catholic church and the Ancient Chinese had similar ideas about a tiered underworld.) and resurrect the one man (that she knows; Oh may not be the only individual fighting things that cross between this world and the next.) standing between China and the supernatural! Ziyi’s greatest obstacle: Oh’s quirky, downright harebrained self (and, yes, Rock does make an appearance)!
The artwork in Inspector Oh #1 continues to be cartoony, but I was amazed at the level of detail shown on the Ox Heads, one of the two main guardians of Hell. It hits all the right beats for me by being evocative and successfully helping tell the story.
Inspector Oh #1 ends on a major cliffhanger (boo!), but the Yuans don’t want to give away all the mysteries in the first issue, do they? My advice is to pick up both Issues #0 and #1 and enjoy the full story of Oh’s crazy world so far, but Issue #1 isn’t a terrible jumping on point. You’ll just miss out on some of the fun callbacks and history notes!
4.5 “Is Oh actually crazier dead?”’s out of 5