REVIEW: Dirk Gently: The Salmon of Doubt #3

It is a difficult task to continue the work of an author who has died. Especially when that author not only has a unique perspective and wit, but Like Douglas Adams becomes incredibly popular because of it. Since he can’t match that voice, Arvind Ethan David has the difficult task of matching the style but coming at that kind of wit in his own way.

David (Superman: War of the Supermen, Sleepless and Other Stories) has said that he isn’t trying to write the story as Adams would, he’s trying to be true to the character. And in that way he is more successful than Chris Ryall was with last year’s The Interconnectedness of all Kings which tried unsuccessfully to match Adam’s whimsy, and added a weird horror element to the story.

With Dirk Gently: The Salmon of Doubt, David and Ilias Kyriazis (Dr. Who: The Eleventh Doctor Archives, Vampirella) return to the character after this spring’s Dirk Gently: A Spoon Too Short. With issue #3, they are beginning to pull the various threads of the story together.

Dirk tried to use a nutty professor’s time machine to go back to his own childhood. Instead Sally was sent back to the day he met a girl on fire. They all get involved with the Rowdy Three and Project Incubus. Meanwhile Todd skips his sister’s performance to throw a big party. While his sister, Amanda’s band plays, she jumps from behind the drum set and shouts that she is on fire. Dirk is the only one who sees the flames and rushes to put them out.

Meanwhile Sally and Dirk both independently learn that thanks to the time machine they are both seeing events from all of Dirk’s possible time lines.

Also Dirk’s cat is kidnapped. (I’d say catnapped, but that word usually means something else.)

So far, while much better than previous Dirk Gently stories, this series has a hard time holding onto the humor that should be running through these books. The funniest and most shocking moments in the series are all through Kyriazis’ art and not the writing. The way Kyriazis draws the crowded bar and party scenes really make for a good payoff when you are re-reading the book.

I like the way that IDW has come at publishing the Dirk Gently comic books. Instead of running one long series going from mystery to mystery, they instead break each story up into five chapters and publish them as mini-series each with their own titles. This makes it easy for readers to know where they are in any particular story and if they want to pick up the rest of the series.

Writer: Arvind Ethan David
Artist: Ilias Kyriazis
Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
Publisher: IDW

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