Welcome to 28-pages of pulp comic that feels more like 50 pages, but you will just have to keep reading to find out if that’s a good thing or not…
Previously In Doctor Crowe: The good Doctor is a man who works in the space between worlds, where monsters are real and one man stands between humanity and its wicked core. This compilation of four stories introduces us to the twisted world of Doctor Crowe and his otherworldly adversaries.
I hate anthologies
I realize it is a personal thing, but I detest anthologies with a passion. I completely understand why comics do them, especially start up comics like this one, but for me, pick a story and run with it. I find that I just get into the story, and it ends, or I really like a story, but the next one doesn’t work for me and I am always left giving a mixed review. How do you score the art on a book when there are four separate teams producing it?
As it happens, this is not so relevant for this book; all the art is much the same and is more than passable fair for this type of story. I will be honest; I am not the biggest fan of ‘noire’ or ‘pulp’ stories, for me the clue was in the name ‘pulp.’ The idea was that because it would only interested you for a few minutes there was no point in using decent paper to print it on as it would be in the trash later that day. Admittedly the old pulp magazines did lead to the super hero comics of the 1940’s, so they cannot have been all bad, but given the choice I prefer films from the 2000’s to films from the 40’s and I am much the same with my comics.
So it’s terrible then?
Actually, no, quite the contrary, the comic is absolutely fine and in places, quite interesting and fun, but its entire concept is quite repetitive and dull to me. Anyone who has read Doc Savage or The Shadow will feel right at home, and if you have also read a modern equivalent such as Moon Knight, then you have basically seen this all before.
That is the problem with a comic that acts as an homage to a very well known concept, you have to do it either so originally or so perfectly there is no room for error. Watchmen managed to do the perfection and originality when ripping off all the 1940’s superheroes, but while this comic is more than passable, that is not enough to keep my interest.
Growing cynical in my old age
I completely accept that I am a miserable old sod, at least in my opinions if not my actual age, but my time and my money are precious to me. I need to be shocked, wowed or excited to separate me from my $5 just the once and this only managed ok, alright and meh. To separate me from $5 every month requires a titanic effort and I’m afraid to say this is a long way off.
As anthology books go, this is a pretty good one, giving stories that feel longer than their 5-6 pages, but without dragging. However you need to like the pulp feel of the book in order to really enjoy it, and unfortunately this did nothing for me at all. Dynamite showed me a modern pulp book a few years back in the form of a glossy Green Hornet and Dark Horse let Francavilla go wild with his Black Beetle, but this has neither the polish nor the style of those two series.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; give me a book I love or hate, I can enjoy both of those in different ways, but give me a book that I am uninterested in, and I will savage it. Sorry to say that this really didn’t inspire me either way.