“The Stars Are Wrong”
This series is a hybrid between the X-files and Law and Order. The core of the story revolves around Detective Sebastian Greene, a quirky crime solver whose eccentric behavior is often blamed on the fact that Greene is Canadian, not the fact that Greene isn’t Greene at all, but an alien inhabiting Greene’s mind. An alien who has created a facsimile of the law enforcement officer; all in the hopes of tracking down threats to his race known as the Great Race.
“The Stars Are Wrong” covers a small handful of mysteries that is presented to Greene and his new partner, Sana Fayez. From corpses showing up that have been sucked dry of their interior bits, to fighting an escaped alien who is hiding in an old woman’s basement.
The real thrill of the series is reading about how Greene views humanity and our strange culture. He is mystified by small talk and loses his focus when clichés and colloquial terms are used in conversation. The good detective is much more adept at communicating with his cat, which thanks to a fancy form of mind reading, provides the book’s main comic relief.
Fred Van Lente has crafted a fine Sci-fi/Crime thriller that moves effortlessly between the boundaries of genres. At a moment’s notice the book can go from a typical cop drama to a psychedelic extraterrestrial romp. It’s Greene’s lack of humanity that makes him the most endearing character of the book, and an instant standout from other crime noir tough guys.
Vilanova and the rest of the art team provide top-notch work, from the dialogue heavy moments of exposition, where crime scenes are detailed and lifelike, to the moments of depicting only what can be described as Lovecraftian alien nightmares.
The art team brings together the book with depictions of just enough human emotion to make you feel uneasy when Greene tries his damnedest to interact with his fellow officers. The same can be said for the moments when we as readers get to watch Greene dip into his amazing extra abilities to fight criminals.
All in all this title is a great read. I can see how it may have not hit the right audience in monthly installments, but now that this tale has been collected together, it’s easier to see how all the tiny bits of characterization and motivations tie in together to build a very detailed tapestry.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
Story: Fred Van Lente
Art: Guiu Vilanova
Colors: Mauricio Wallace and Josan Gonzalez
Letters: Nate Piekos
Publisher: Dark Horse
Collects- Issues 1-6