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‘Joe Golem: Occult Detective – The Outer Dark #1’ – Advance Comic Book Review

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Mike Mignola book, so I thought I’d give this new run of Joe Golem: Occult Detective a try. I haven’t read any of the other Joe Golem: Occult Detective books, so the title of the book is the only angle I have to understand what’s up going for me. Otherwise, I don’t get a really good handle on who Joe Golem is in this first issue.

In the beginning, he’s in love and has nightmares of Golems, priests, and monsters that feel more like chapters of a story unfolding. Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden spend most of the time with Joe talking about this mystery, but the dialogue between his love and himself is a bit stiff, so Joe comes off as a salad of exposition and somewhat cringe-worthy, love-dovey quips. All the stuff Joe talks about is interesting. I just wish he exuded a little more personality.

Meanwhile, a strange, little man named Bodo loses his composure on a train when voices start talking to him. He flips out and begins killing people and some even weirder stuff happens that I won’t divulge. This is where the book starts to find its groove. Not only does the story kick into gear, but we meet Joe’s father figure whom he lives with, Mr. Church. The man is slightly off in that sort of stop-looking-at-me-with-that-smile kind of way. It’s so nice that you know something else is going on.

Joe gets pulled into the mystery surrounding Bodo, and we get pulled into wanting to read the second issue. Is it a home run of a first issue? The dialogue in general holds the book back from that status, but there’s enough intrigue here to continue forward. I really like Patric Reynolds’ film noir look. It’s incredibly cinematic and, at the same time, still in the way John Huston films could be. With Dave Stewart more than capable coloring (Man, he’s good.), the visual aesthetic of the book is exceptional and makes it worth the price of admission.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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