Dead Boy Detectives #3
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artists: Jeff Stokely, Craig Taillefer
Color Artist: Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Reviewed By Steve J. Ray
Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives #3 sees our heroes come under siege by the dead ghost babies (known as the Kumanthong). While visiting the US, Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland came across three Thai-American ghosts, Jai, Tanya, and Melvin. Their human friend, Dom was killed by a fourth, malevolent Thai Spirit while seeking to aid the other three.
Now the five ghosts are seeking a mystic amulet they believe to be responsible for these Thai entities being able to exist in America. What’s the link between Thessaly, the ancient Greek witch, and the Kumanthong? This issue begins to give us answers, though not necessarily ones we might like.
This series is firing on all thrusters. The fascinating glimpse into ghosts from across the globe, the re-introduction of three favorite characters from Neil Gaiman’s legendary Sandman series, and the horror and humor they all bring, has been an absolute delight. I know that’s a weird thing to say about a horror comic, but it’s true.
Edwin and Charles have an unorthodox relationship, and we’ve seen that, even though they don’t have bodies, somehow they still have the equivalent of rampaging teen hormones. The fact that these are ghosts with feelings and emotions elevates the intensity of events and makes the characters so much more relatable.
Pornsak Pichetshote’s scripts are textured and his imagination is wonderful. Dead baby ghosts are terrifying, but the fact that they may also have feelings makes them all the more tragic.
The team behind the visuals on this book are no slouches, either. The art by Jeff Stokely and Craig Taillefer brilliantly balances the line between cartoony and grotesque, while Miquel Muerto (what a great name for an artist on a horror book) provides colors that add to the creepiness, but without making it stomach churning.
I have to say that Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s letters are nothing short of outstanding. His sound effects and the way he delivers captions and dialogue is wonderful. From little notepads showing us what the characters are thinking (nope I really don’t miss thought bubbles at all), to ghostly dream speak, and big loud, almost manga-style arguments between the characters. All of his work is stellar.
I actually don’t have any gripes this time. Dead Boy Detectives #3 was intriguing, fun and scary, and the cliffhanger’s a doozy!
We get to see more of Thessaly this month, and she is not happy! Anyone familiar with this character will know that she’s not a person to be messed with. The whole plot of ghosts, monsters and amulets is right up my street and I will sing this series’ praises from the rooftops, particularly if the quality remains this high.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment