Graphic Novel Mysteries
It’s been great to see that graphic novels (i.e. comic books) have become much more respected over the past few years. Gone are the days when comic writers treated the reader like an eight year old with classic lines such as, “Thank gosh for utility belts!” or “My spider-senses are tingling, that must mean Dr. Octopus is near!”; instead, the writers have realized that their audience has grown up and so has the dialogue and the art work. I have recently read four great mystery graphic novels that are sure to please the palate of young and old alike.
Powers: Cosmic vol 10.
Brian Michael Bendis, author of this series, was nominated for the Eisner Award (best graphic novel) for this series. Homicide Detective Christian Walker is called in whenever a murder of a Power (super hero or heroine) occurs. With his partner, Deanna Pilgrim, they delve into the heart of the super-powered community which is often not as sparkly clean as believed. Powers: Cosmic vol 10 is a great starting point for new readers but is not for the faint of heart and is definitely intended for older readers!
Batman- Ego and Other Tales
Darwyn Cooke, Eisner Award nominee for The Spirit comics, brings together four short stories featuring Batman, the original comic detective. In the first story, Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman) has a conversation with his ego after witnessing a man commit suicide who had helped him put away the Joker. This psychological drama neatly draws in the reader with a discussion on the duality of the caped crime fighter. Futhermore, the 1940’s style artwork brings the reader back to the original stories without the campy dialogue The other four stories, though not as strong as Ego, are all drawn in the 1940’s or Art Nouveau fashion and create a strong compilation of Batman shorts.
Daredevil- Cruel and Unusual
Ben Donovan is on death row at Sing Sing prison for a particularly gruesome murder of three children. When Matt Murdock (a.k.a Daredevil) is brought in to look into the case his heightened sense of hearing can detect that Donovan is lying about his relationship to the case. With the assistance of private detective Dakota North, the two delve deeper into a case that leads them into the heart of a Mafia/CIA conspiracy. Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka (one of the store’s favorite thriller writers) compile a noir mystery using Daredevil at his best.
Teen Titans- Year One
Nostalgia has been a big theme in 2008-2009 with publishers DC and Marvel publishing the “early years” of the super-hero groups. In this compilation of “Teen Titans Year One”, Robin brings together an unlikely group of young super-powered teens to create the Teen Titans. The group of five superheroes must figure out why the adult super-heroes personalities have changed and have started to act like super-villains rather than super-heroes. Full of humor, a light mystery, and terrific art-work, Amy Wolfram brings you back to what comics used to be- a light escape for an hour on a Saturday afternoon. Great for young and older readers alike!