ADVANCE REVIEW: Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1

Writer: Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden
Artist: Patric Reynolds
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Dave Palumbo
Publication Date: November 04, 2015

Following the success of their last collaboration, Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King, Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden are back, with the first comic book appearance of Joe Golem, featured previously in their novel Joe Golem and the Drowning City.  The pair, therefore, have a bit of a tightrope to walk.  This book may appeal to readers of the original novel as well as fans of the Mignola-verse books, so there has to be just enough of an origins piece to help new readers and not alienate the existing fans.

Throughout the book we get brief introductions to the characters involved, some history and some sort of recognition of the lifestyle in the alternate Manhattan, with water rats kids replacing street urchins.  As you’d expect, the dialogue is great, with good setups that hint at something sinister about Joe’s dreams and his relationship with the long living Mr Church, allowing the trepidation to build.  Mignola and Golden have created a noir-esque detective book, fueled by alternate history and their usual twist of the macabre.

Patric Reynolds provides the art of the gloomy water-soaked world, with a grainy style of pencils which suits the somewhat sunken dark world.  As you would expect, Dave Stewart is on board with colors that practically scream horror and terror.

This issue is a great start to the mini-series, which is set outside the normal Mignola-verse continuity, with a clear defined goal, that I felt was lacking in the pair’s previous Baltimore book.

For more information regarding the book, keep an eye on the interview section of the site for an upcoming chat with Christopher Golden.

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