Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men TPB Review!
Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men is one of the most entertaining comics I have ever read! Period. This new collection from Darkhorse features on the “Detective,” for hire Cal, and his misadventures throughout the world of the paranormal, magical, etc. The characters throughout all of the stories in this collection are amazing! Even if the character is around only for a single panel you can tell each and every character was given their own distinct voice and personality – With one scene you already know which characters you’re rooting for and which ones you want to see get blown up, torn to pieces, or however else you can get rid of paranormal creatures. The creative team behind this great collection are Writer: Steve Niles, Eric Powell, Artist: Christopher Mitten, Colorist: Michelle Madsen, and Cover Artist: Fiona Staples.
Like I said before this is one of the few comics that literally had me laughing out loud. The lines/personalities of these characters are so well thought out its ridiculous. Cal’s lack of respect for anything or thing other than himself is for lack of a better word “selfless.” Try to wrap your head around that one! He’s so concerned with his own well-being that nobodies life really matters. Cal also has a “best-buddy,” helping him out on his cases, who JUST happens to be a ghoul himself. (Just for your information Ghouls in this universe are basically un-killable, shadow-walking, super-strong, sentient zombiesque monsters.) Basically this guy is Cal’s Alfred, but his name is Mo’lock – AND that he’s magical, and has no qualms ripping people/monsters apart with his bare-hands.
The moments of tension throughout Cal’s investigations are definitely that, tense. You get a real feeling of dread. I found myself saying “Oh crap,” on more than one occasion. Whether it’s something to do with monsters, the police, politicians, etc. There’s always a few moments of levity and humor – But these are generally followed immediately by some sort of cringe-worthy revelation, which I happened to like. The process is formulaic in a sense, but it doesn’t get stale, they somehow manage to keep it fresh all throughout. Begins with Cal’s own special type of down-time, some shenanigans take place, THEN he has a new case OR problem to solve/take care of. It never fails to hold your attention, mainly because there’s always something going on. Granted there are times when this isn’t utilized properly and you’re left with a whole lot of random scenarios/situations that have absolutely nothing to do with each-other, or just confuse the reader. This doesn’t happen. At all. It’s all nicely organized and set up so that the reader can get the best reading experience possible.
As I said before the characters throughout the collection of stories are awesome. (There is also a number of cameos/tie-ins, BUT I’m not going to spoil those for you. Let’s just say one is big, red, and has a giant rock hand and the other’s name rhymes with “The Moon.”) Each “criminal-empire,” has its own respective group, OR for lack of a better word mafia, that run operations throughout their respective cities. There’s a ghoul mob, a vampire mob, a werewolf mob, AND others that weren’t featured within this specific collection. NOW I can’t go forgetting one of the most well-known creatures in fiction writing is featured in the very first issue! That entire issue had me laughing, with the biggest smile on my face. This trend carries on throughout the entirety of this collection! There isn’t much else for to say without me spoiling something for you guys, which is the last thing I want to do.
SO. If you’re interested on a more modern take of “What goes bump in the night,” and are one of those people who enjoy a good old-fashioned “gum-shoe,” story – This is totally for you. Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men has everything I look for in an enjoyable read. The story-telling itself is spot on, the characters are amazing and stick with you throughout the entire run, no matter their importance, and the art is some of the better I’ve seen. All in all, you should probably, possibly, definitely check this out.