Singles issues 1-4 (complete arc)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Written by Steve Niles
Art and colour by Nick Stakel and Michelle Madsen
I”m a sucker for gimmicks, and although more often they tend to leave a bitter taste in my mouth, I”m glad to say that Dark Horse”s gimmick of putting a Thomas Jane on the cover of the Criminal Macabre has introduced me to Cal McDonald the protagonist of the Criminal Macabre series.
Cal McDonald is a self loathing private investigator who excels at solving paranormal mysteries. He prefers the company of ghouls to man and has a fondness for illicit substances. Following the events of a previous series this arc begins with Cal in self destructive mode. Saving Cal from himself, Mo”Loch (his ghoul friend) hands him his next assignment, which basically means capturing Satan”s own child.
This is pretty much, been there, done that territory and fans of the genre are likely to lap it up. Although never quite reaching the dizzying standards set by Fell, this is a pretty good effort. A refreshing change is the fact that being limited to four single issues, the story is very direct. Steve Niles” quirky humour makes it all the more entertaining and elevates it from its peers. Fans of one-liners are guaranteed a laugh here. The artwork is pretty grimy which complements the story well and it”s always easy to follow what”s going on.
This won”t blow you away, but it certainly does what it sets out to do; and that is entertain. I for one will surely be looking into the other Cal McDonald titles out there and considering that a movie is in the pipeline, I don”t think I”m alone.
Chris Le Galle