Advanced Review: Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC
I think I said in another review of Steve Niles’ Criminal Macabre that he has some of the best opening lines in comics. Take this one for example:
It was 3 a.m. when I heard the knock on the door of my Studio City shit hole. I hadn’t slept since I’d died — almost a month now.
See what I mean? Hooked with only two sentences.
Due to consistency in the quality of Niles’ storytelling, Criminal Macabre’s protagonist Cal McDonald has quickly become my favorite comic book character. So it’s no stretch to say I was really looking forward to reading Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC.
Well the first thing I noticed was just how damned big this hardcover is (but more on that later).
The second thing I noticed was the stunning watercolor and pencil work by Scott Morse. The art is nothing short of incredible and helps Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit read more like an illustrated book than a comic.
Story wise, Cal is brought into the top-secret, hidden underbelly of military mad-science experiments where he’s forced to think outside the box to make everything right.
I think what Niles does best with his Criminal Macabre comics is make every issue accessible. I said it with Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide, I said it with Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men, and I said it with Criminal Macabre: Die, Die, My Darling. Well, again with Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit, Niles has presented a perfect introduction for new readers to jump on board.
So if you’re interested in urban-fantasy and want something a little heavier than most, track down the Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC.
Now what baffles me about the Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC is the format. At 32 pages, it very well could have been a US $3.99 comic book. But instead Dark Horse (or maybe the creators themselves) have opted for not only a hard cover edition, but an oversized 9″ x 12″ HC.
Don’t get me wrong: the Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC looks real nice on my shelf with the others, but I’m curious as to the reasoning behind the decision.
Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit HC hits comic book shelves around the world on September 12th 2012 with the price tag of US$19.99