Harker #6

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
"It's too late for me to stop now. We're at the grand finale. Don't you want to see how it turns out?"

"The Book of Solomon" concludes the first Harker story arc. After detectives Critchley and Harker discover who has been committing murders among a British satanic cult, the murderer leads Harker through a dark and intense chase that threatens Harker's life.

This has been a really fun series, and it will work great as a graphic novel. Gibson and Danks do a great job of making all of their characters feel distinctive in words and deeds. The chase through the tunnels wasn't just a chance for Detective Harker to be scared and fight for his life. It also was a chance to get another look at a very unique man, a chance to really illuminate his character through both words and deeds.

We get a sense of the man because he can't stop mumbling to himself. Harker is a man who likes his own company more than the company of others, and in his mumbling we can get insight into why he feels that way. He's a man with a hyperactive inner life in which competing synapses and impulses are always battling each other. He's also a man who's very tightly attached to his partner, as we see Harker mumbling continually as if he's having a running conversation with Critchley.

When Harker is confronted with a physical battle, we get a real sense via Vincent Danks's art of how awkward Harker feels in that situation. He fights heroically against his attacker, but it's obvious that Harker hasn't the slightest idea of how to attack an enemy or how to really get the better of a man in battle.

Meanwhile Critchley is a man of action. He gets a big John Woo sort of action scene this issue as he charges like a man possessed in order to save his friend and colleague. Critchley acts while Harker thinks and thus they make a good team.

The lines quoted at the top of this review are spoken by the murderer. He's quite a madman, intense and crazy with an animalistic sort of cunning. I enjoyed the feeling of the murderer toying with Harker as the chase went on, and the sort of ironic ending of the murderer's arrogance causing his defeat.

The collected edition of Harker book one is due out in October. It'll be great to see this whole series all together, because all six issues have combined interesting characters with very nice artwork and an intense and surprising story. This is good comics.

For more on Harker, visit the Ariel Press website.

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