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Blood In The Gutters: Week’s New Crime Comics – Sherlock Holmes, Daredevil, Domino Lady, My Friend Dahmer
Down at the ol’ comical book store this coming Wednesday: Again with the Sherlock; the Devil in the wilderness; I wanna be a pulp hero (or possibly just date one); you thought your high school friends were weird.
Sherlock Holmes: Victorian Knights #1–All right, comics industry, you’re really testing my efforts to remain not cynical. I fully realize that Sherlock Holmes has become an archetype, a legacy character. I also can’t help but notice that due to the Robert Downey, Jr. films of the past couple of years, as well as the cultishly popular BBC show, the character has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance. Now, if I wanted to be cynical, I could pass this book off as just an attempt at a quick buck. If I was trying to work against that dismissive and unproductive attitude, I’d say that the creators and publisher involved saw this time as being right for telling a story that needs to be told, a story that might not reach as wide an audience otherwise. So I will say that, but I’m telling you, it takes a Herculean effort to do so.
Daredevil: Reborn trade paperback–Speaking of cashing in, we have our requisite Marvel book of the week. One of the reasons I’m trying to not be so cynical is because I have this seemingly genetic predisposition to excuse all the horrible and bland stuff the House of Ideas pulls off. The big Shadowland crossover of a couple years ago was one of those, a series I enjoyed but which folks like CC’s own Cameron Ashley pegged as bloated and unnecessary. But! At least the follow-up got us a new script by Andy Diggle, one of the cadre of this generation’s writers doing some of the best crime/action books of the last decade or so (The Losers, Six Guns, even that Green Arrow: Year One mini was really good). And one needn’t even have read Shadowland to enjoy this trade. Ol’ Matty Murdock decides to flee his troubles back in the Big Apple and ends up fighting a corrupt sheriff’s department in a rural Southwestern town. It’s a very Kung Fu-ish little book, and as such is nothing particularly new but still fun. If Andy Diggle writes a Sherlock Holmes book, I’ll buy it.
Domino Lady’s Threesome #1–Moonstone is kind of a weird publisher for me. I’m glad to see that somebody is keeping the old-timey pulp heroes alive, but like with NPR, I support the enterprise morally if not financially. Domino Lady in particular though holds a little more interest for me, in that the character was created for the “spicy pulps,” meaning her stories were what passed for porno back in the Depression era. Now with the new miracle ingredient, post-modernism, the character has been written with an eye towards maximum story impact without lessening the charming erotica feel of our grandparents’ generation. New York Times bestseller (for what that’s worth) Nancy Holder has taken on scripting duties once again, and so this might be worth a look.
My Friend Dahmer hardcover–Yeah, this is a work of non-fiction. I mean, every nutcase in the news has a past, people who knew him when. It’s just that often those people don’t include one of the better cartoonists to come out of the alternative comics scene of the ’90s. Derf Backderf indeed was high school friends with Jeffrey Dahmer, and he was indeed the guy was always a bit of a kook. This book has been a project of Derf’s for sometime, but back when it looked like he wasn’t gonna get the funding for this ambitious project, he self-published it as a much shorter single-issue story. Fortunately, we now get the full 200-plus page story. Derf never lessens the horror of Dahmer’s famous murder spree years after they parted ways; if anything, the story of young Jeffrey Dahmer makes his later infamy all the more profound for its awfulness. This book has not been verified for shipping this week, and in fact, Derf’s website says it will be on sale on March 1st. But it is listed tentatively as shipping for tomorrow, so I am crossing my fingers that it does. There is also a softcover version for you cheapies like me.