Book description

Book info

eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size7.5 Mb
GanreSequential Art
Release date 02.08.2008
Pages count104
Book rating4.21 (335 votes)
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Neil Gaiman seemed to have created a larger sandbox for other writers to play on when he penned Season of Mists, the fourth volume of The Sandman series. It has spawned a bunch of successful spin-offs, particularly Mike Carey's 75-issue Lucifer graphic novels, centering on the ex-ruler of Hell and his activities after his resignation. There's also Jill Thompson's Death: At Death's Door, chronicling Death's whereabouts and activities when the dead sprouted back to earth in the wake of Lucifer's resignation.

Now, Ed Brubaker wrote a four-issue miniseries zeroing in on the question, "What happened to the two English schoolboys who refused to go with Death?”The answers all here in Dead Boy Detectives:The Secret to Immortality.

The story: An immortal killer is stalking London’s homeless teenagers and Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, the two boy ghosts now playing Holmes-Watson, are hot on his trail thanks to a tip from one of the street kids, Marcia. Initially suspecting a mysterious man calling himself the Marquis de Marquez, the boys’ suspicions are eventually put to rest and they end up helping the Marquis in his own quest to catch the killer. The culprit is identified by the Marquis as once having been the infamous Gilles de Rais who now goes by the name Robert “Hob” Gadling. After the Marquis teaches the boys some new haunting skills and magical spells, together they get their man. Once Hob is safely secured in the Marquis’ dungeon and set to meet his mortal fate, it seems that “all’s well that ends well” and the boys leave feeling very proud of themselves. That is until the old witch Mad Hettie appears and explains to them that not only is Hob Gadling an innocent man, but also that the Marquis de Marquez has been using magic to control their minds from the very start…

I love Brubaker’s interpretation of the kid ghosts, although they seem to be very different from Gaiman’s original characters—they are forever torn between childish banters and semi-adult introspections. As for the story, I have to admit it’s pretty predictable, although I think Brubaker is not exactly aiming for a shock factor. I liked how historical bits and legends are incorporated with the storyline, especially about Joan of Arc’s involvement and the myths surrounding the figure of Dracula. While the art is okay, they seem to provide a feel dissimilar to that of the Sandman comics.

Over all, this is still an okay spin-off.

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