Two years after he killed a child-snatching monster and stopped an undead takeover in the Drowning City, occult detective Joe Golem searches for a man with superhuman strength who is attacking citizens under orders from the otherworldly voices in his head. But Joe has his own demons to wrestle with . . .
As a fan of mystery and suspense, this issue stood out as one which needed to be reviewed. After finally getting ahold of it and sitting down to read it, all there is to say is: Eh.
The issue isn’t bad, it just seems like a bad jumping on point. It is a new miniseries in the continuing saga of Joe Golem, a detective who investigates the strange and paranormal and who might have more about him than even he knows. Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t really take the time to reintroduce the character or what is happening. It feels like you should already know who Joe is, how he is an associate detective to Mr. Church, and seem to have a general concern as to why Lori, Joe’s love interest, seems to have a great distrust for Mr. Church. Not exactly the most compelling concepts for new readers, but considering the writing team Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden have a track record of writing series where the events continue book to book this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It is probably is a great issue for those who read the previous adventures of Joe Golem, but it seemed a bit slow despite having a deep and involving story.
The artwork is the real star of this issue. Art by Patric Reynolds and colors by Dave Stewart really help to give the book the feel of being set in the past. The issue has a nice noir sensibility to it and really captures the essence of life in the past. The sections which jump even further into the distant past have an especially distinct look to them which stands out and makes the issue captivating.
Joe Golem: The Outer Dark is a visually pleasing book but leaves you wanting to know more but doesn’t seem to define the characters enough. Of course, it is a detective series so a bit of mystery may be what they are going for. Basically if you have read the previous issues you will be fine and will have a much better time with the new mini-series. For everyone else, it may be time to hit the local comic book shop and grab the first graphic novel.