Joe Golem #2
Written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Artwork by Patric Reynolds
Letters by Clem Robins
Colors by Dave Stewart
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Joe Golem: Occult Detective #2 picks up where issue one stopped and builds on the previous issue where Joe Golem saves children from The Rat Catcher, a water monster. Now, Joe continues to search Lower Manhattan for The Rat Catcher. The artwork from Reynolds is dark and gritty, which fits the detective story just right. The rough nature of the artwork fits well with setting up the mood of the comic as well as the action scenes. The writing from Mignola and Golden shows wit with the sly nature of Joe. Furthermore, the comic’s plot unfolds its mystery at a steady pace. All together, Joe Golem: Occult Detective # 2 stands out as an interesting detective story.
The issue shows Joe’s investigation of The Rat Catcher. Joe is underwater fighting The Rat Catcher as he attempts to save a child. Joe comes out of the fray victorious, but receives an injury to his torso. The detective blacks out from his wound. During his blackout, Joe has a dream about the past where a group of people demand a golem be used to hunt witches. Joe awakes a troubles over the dream. Upon waking, Joe runs into his friend, Lori, where they banter back and forth about Joe’s adventure thus far. Their relationship seems to be budding into romance. Joe returns to his mentor’s home to discuss his case and his odd dream. Shortly afterwards, Joe is back on the beat searching for The Rat Catcher.
Mignola’s and Golden’s writing comes with wit and careful planning. Much of the wit from the characters come from their interactions with each other. Joe, in particular, is the best to deliver his one-liners. Such as after his encounter with The Rat Catcher, Joe cares more about his hat than the fact he is wounded and passes out with his thoughts focused on it. The careful planning in the writing comes from the fast pace of the action scenes and the slow reveal of the mystery. The fight scenes between Joe and The Rat Catcher are intense and thrilling. Also, Mignola and Golden use the issue’s cliff hanger to its fullest effect. It makes the reader want more information about the strange happenings in the comic’s world.
Joe Golem: Occult Detective #2 is gritty, witty, and dark. The characters fall into the more traditional aspects of the detective genre. Yet the supernatural elements help Joe and his cast stand out as they work their way through the mystery. It is a fun tale and an example of remarkable storytelling.