Note: Retailers can order Poe #1 up until May 26th, and it will be in stores in July.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that I should read more Poe. I’m referring, of course, to the great Edgar Allen Poe. Even if you haven’t read that much Poe, like me, you should all be familiar with the man, and his most famous poem, “The Raven.” J. Barton Mitchell, the writer, and Dean Kotz, the artist, must realize this because on the first couple of pages, we see Poe haunted by a Raven and the loss of his wife. However, this comic is a lot more than a librarian’s reminder to read more classical literature.
Poe is institutionalized, tortured by the loss of his wife, and, perhaps worst of all, at a loss of words. Poe is taken away by his brother, and, due to his brother’s profession, the two arrive at a crime scene. Poe is surprisingly excellent at investigating. That is completely appropriate. Writers are observers. They know people for their characters, and they also have to be knowledgeable. Take, for example, Brian Michael Bendis. He writes the detective series, Powers, and, because of that, he has all the knowledge to become a detective himself. I’m serious. All he lacks is the field experience. Poe has similar knowledge. And, partly I’m sure because this is a comic, and partly because Poe’s own life is a tad mysterious, Poe has a bit of supernatural powers.
I like this book’s art. Dean Kotz has a very clear and consistent style, and every panel is rendered well. The closest comparison I could give would be to John Romita Jr. His art isn’t quite as striking as Romita’s, but who knows? It could get there in time.
I was a bit surprised how much I enjoyed this comic. I was prepared to get a boring history lecture on Poe, only to be thrust into a supernatural detective yarn. This comic is very “wordy” and doesn’t contain much action, but I was still entertained. It reminded me of the recent intellectual blockbusters, like “The Da Vinci Code” and “National Treasure.” So, this was a bit of slow start, but I was intrigued. And this story may involve a Golem, and you can never go wrong with a Golem.