I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
The second volume of Dead Boy Detectives (Litt & Buckingham's version anyway) has Edwin and Charles continuing their search for Edwin's family, with the help of Crystal Palace.
In previous reviews I mentioned how fond I was of the two boys when they were introduced in issue #25 of Sandman (Season of Mists). I obviously wasn't the only one who was interested in the further adventures of the two ghosts as they wandered off into the world.
The first spin-off (which I never read) was a 7 issue series called the Children's Crusade which featured the two boys spending their time watching noir films I guess and deciding to start their own detective agency. I guess that everyone else figured that was a pretty good idea, because now there have been at least two further series started with Charles and Edwin setting up as detectives, both under the title, "Dead Boy Detectives." One by Ed Brubaker and one by Jill Thompson. Now we have yet another Dead Boy Detective series.
Although I've enjoyed continuing my adventures with the pair...the detective agency angle has been less interesting for me. For one the pair are always represented the same way, even though their personalities were hardly set by their appearance in Sandman.
Charles thinks like the stereotypical hard boiled detective. He's always got a dame on his case, for whom he heads into dangerous and occasionally stupid territory, dragging Edwin with him.
Edwin is timid, innocent and well...side-kicky. While Charles leaps into action, Edwin is sent out to do the errands.
The first volume in this series has a familiar feel to it. Charles and Edwin return to St. Hilarion (the school where they were both originally killed and where they met). There they meet the teenaged hacker daughter of a famous couple. Crystal Palace recently had a near death experience when one of her parents art projects went awry. Charles and Edwin had a hand in saving her and perhaps because of that connection she decides to start a new school, St.Hilarion.
Soon she notices weird things going down at the school. Of course there's still that pesky hellsmouth in the school...
The second volume takes up the action right after the end of the first, Charles has decided to allow Crystal help him solve the mystery of his family, find his half-sister and solve his mother's murder. Crystal must also help her friends Hana, who she lost in the attack on St.Hilarion and her best childhood friend, Rosa, who she watched being pulled through some sort of portal when they were children.
Again, Edwin stays as a bit of a sidenote through this series (as he has in all the others) as Charles pursues the mystery of his family and his growing relationship with Crystal Palace (yeah, that'll work I'm sure). It's definitely an interesting story and a good mystery, however, I found Crystal Palace annoying at best.
Overall, probably the most polished of any Dead Boy Detective series, but still I liked the Brubaker version better, with it's gritty art and darker plot.