Friday, May 3, 2013

Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men

 I consider Steve Niles to be the luckiest man in comic books. Somehow, without a single, solitary shred of talent, writing ability, or sense of plot or pacing, he has risen to the top of the industry on the strength of one very good, if horribly executed, idea: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.

 Niles keeps the books coming, I keep getting review copies, and the circle of abuse continues. I have never read a Cal McDonald story that I enjoyed, and CRIMINAL MACABRE: NO PEACE FOR DEAD MEN keeps that streak alive. The book collects a handful of Criminal Macabre one-shots, including a crossover with The Goon. I love The Goon, but Niles even manages to make HIM boring.....

 For the (Mercifully) uninitiated, Cal McDonald is a Detective that specializes in The Supernatural. He's also one of the most unlikable characters I've ever encountered. Not unlikable in a Snake Plissken kind of way, where he's an asshole but you still kind of like him. McDonald is just a perpetually drunk, surly twat not only has no redeeming qualities, but also has no charisma or personality, aside from being a drunk, surly twat.

 The stand-alone stories presented here are loosely connected by the threat of a upcoming "War" of an unspecified nature. Are the Monsters going to wage war on Humanity, or just McDonald? This is fairly terrible stuff...I keep reading Niles' books because, seriously, at some point he almost HAS to get better, right? I mean, anyone who does a job long enough is bound to become at least mildly proficient at what he does...Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet.

 CRIMINAL MACABRE: NO PEACE FOR DEAD MEN contains five separate one-shots, and includes covers, pin-ups, and a sketch gallery. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this book a 1, and that's just because a favorite character of mine makes an unexpected cameo.

 Dark Horse provided a review copy.