The Dark Detective Issue 5 : Buried Secrets (2009)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Baden Kirgan
Publisher Black House Comics
Writers Christopher Sequeira
Art and Colours Philip Cornell, Tim McEwan
Cover Dave Elsey
Genre Gothic


“There is neither man nor beast that I cannot stalk and bring down” - Sebastian Moran

Edinburgh 1887 and interest in a scroll owned by a Mrs Stewart is being expressed in various ways by various parties including Moriarty. Murder most foul is committed in order to gain the scroll. Meanwhile a few weeks later in London Dr Watson is called upon to give testimony at late notice, which helps in another case that Holmes is investigating. Watson decides to keep an eye on Holmes which brings the pair to Highgate Cemetery late one night. Seems Holmes is on a corpse desecration case much to Watson's surprise. The pair are surprised in a mausoleum by non other than the Marquis of Frankenstein, or at least someone claiming the title with an in-depth knowledge of Mary Shelley's novel. And if Holmes thinks he has problems with the nutter then Moriarty is in a worse position with the Marquis having disposed of Moriarty's henchmen and stolen the scroll the Professor had acquired up North. At least Moriarty has help at hand in the form of Colonel Sebastian Moran!

Baden Kirgen and crew are back with the fifth edition of The Dark Detective and are kicking off a new story arc in doing so. After the interim release that was issue four it's nice to have a new story line to sink our teeth into. Interestingly, to those of us with a geek bent, the story here features the Marquis of Frankenstein who was allude to in advertising prior to the franchise hitting stores with issue one. Bit of a wait but we are definitely hitting our Hammer Horror straps here with Chris Sequeira already asking the Reader whether or not they think the Shelley quoting Marquis is actually a Frankenstein monster or just somebody with a few Roos loose in the top paddock. Either corpse desecration is part of some exotic rite or the Marquis is stocking up on body parts for perhaps a “Bride of” end game.

One of the interesting things in Television reviewing is that generally a second season of a franchise makes or breaks that franchise. Can the Writers maintain and build on the interest hopefully generated through the first season. With Issue 5 of The Dark Detective Writer Sequeria is in exactly the same situation. The first plot arc was well received by the general readership and most Reviewers I've read, so the trick here is to build on that reception. Thus far I've got to say the Writer has surpassed his first plot arc and will have the first time reader fanging to find out the answers to a number of questions raised in Issue 5, not the least of which is what the heck the scroll is all about. The second story arc is titled The Ghost Of Mary Shelley, ergo I would imagine those with a passing knowledge of Frankenstein might be well ahead of the game here, though I'm not expecting the story to deviate into discussions about whether or not man should seek to usurp the power of God. Lets face it, that trope has been done to death by a million and one movies, time to put it out to pasture kids.

Chris Sequeria writes in a crisp easy to read style that conjures up the period the comic is set in while not devolving to the sort of old fashion English style that needs a dictionary to understand. For those after old fashion might I suggest the 101 bonnet sagas the ABC plays to an increasingly smaller audiences. Sequeria manages to mix in what the Sherlock Holmes fans are expecting with the horror elements dark genre fans are after to perhaps surprise both readerships. Simple put it's excellent writing on par with the best that Hammer produced at their peak.

Philip Cornell with an assist from Tim McEwan keeps the fine art flowing through the panels of the comic to enhance and give vision to Sequeria's script. The art is period exact, what we would expect from comics around the 1880s if they had of been in vogue, detailed, and a pleasure to view. Actually a youtube style cartoon wouldn't go amiss in the marketing ideas front, but let's not give Kirgan ideas else Cornell wont be finishing the next issue any time soon. Here Cornell gives full range to an original style that will have readers nodding their heads in approval. It's stunning stuff, even my wife (graphic artist and anti-horror of any sort) was mesmerised by what she saw on the page.

Dave Elsey's cover yet again hits one out of the ballpark, simply stunning, and would look great on a tee (hint, hint). Elsey has this sort of greyish blue thing happening that conjures up all those feelings you have when visiting a cemetery at dusk for no apparent reason. Try it out folks, make it an old cemetery, quite the experience. Loved the newspaper flyers pasted to the brick wall and the bloody handprint, excellent period touch.

Running out of room once again, story of my life kids. Black House Comics as normal go with high quality paper and one hell of a professional touch. The Dark Detective rivals if not over shadows the best coming out of New York in this regard. And as an added bonus you get those cool made up adverts at the back of the comic, regular Dark Detective readers will know what I mean, always a highlight for mine.

The Dark Detective Issue 5: Buried Secrets is available from selected newsagents, or can be sourced direct from the net right here. The issue will set you back a low $5 plus some P&H if sourcing online. Feel confident in buying online by the way as the packaging is excellent and your new comic will arrive on your doorstep in pristine condition. If after further details then check out Black House Comics for full details.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Another issue, another winner, I'm hooked on the new story arc already.