The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives #3 – Pornsak Pichetshote, Writer; Jeff Stokely, Artist; Craig Taillefer, Inker; Miquel Muerto, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The Sandman Universe line of comics is full of dark, creepy tales, but it seems like Pornsak Pichetshote wants to do something different. His series has a lot more compassion for the things that go bump in the night, especially since so many of them are children who died before their time. An eerie opening that describes the frankly horrific way a specific magical artifact is created aside, most of this issue is about a group of unusual ghost children from very different backgrounds trying to get along and function as a family. But while the group is learning about each other, dark forces are brewing—and one of the main characters, Charles, winds up in a strange mystical coma after being attacked. This unmoors his longtime partner, as Edwin struggles to cope without his afterlife companion and grows closer to one of the new ghosts in the community in his place.
Pichetshote has done some pretty dark supernatural comics in the past, including the urban horror saga Infidel. However, this story has some shadings of his most acclaimed comic, The Good Asian as well. This is a story that doesn’t look away from the brutality of anti-Asian bigotry, and some of the ways these kids died are truly disturbing, It also deals with the way victims of bigotry sometimes turn and visit that on people in the same situation as a way to try to get a leg up. It’s a morally complex comic that also features some fascinating supernatural mythology and some genuinely gruesome art depicting unusual phantoms. This is a slower-burn story than most of the Sandman Universe books, investing in its characters and slowly peeling back the secrets of its world. While there often is a lot of mythology to absorb, it really does come together into one of the most original DC books out right now.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.