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The Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics are back to give you another ear-full of good quality comics talk, and this week the focus is on noir weirdness. They begin with the collected trade edition of Limbo (Image Comics). Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard’s six-issue limited series ran from November 2015 to April of this year, but last week the TPB was released. It’s the story of Clay, a cynical and world-worn detective who finds himself stuck in a strange world whose origins are a mystery. Andy W. and Derek liken this book to a voodoo-infused version of Videodrome, and the guys are particularly struck by by Wijngaard’s neon palette and his occasional metafictional page layouts.
And while Limbo injects more than enough weirdness into its noir, it’s easily rivaled by the Lovecraftian flair of Fred Van Lent and Guiu Vilanova’s Weird Detective #1 (Dark Horse Comics). The first issue in this miniseries introduces us to Detective Sebastian Greene, a heretofore mundane investigator whose recent display of uncanny abilities at detecting confound his partner, Sana Fayez, and their superiors. The strangeness is compounded by a string of unusual crimes that are sure to appeal to fans of the Great Old Ones.
Finally, Derek and Andy wrap up with a more conventional noir narrative, Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank, and Andrea Mutti’s Control #1 (Dynamite Entertainment). While this one doesn’t have the genre-bending, otherworldly twists of this week’s other titles, it nonetheless concerns an unfathomable dark region. Not electric voodoo or Cthulhu, but Washington, D.C. politics. At least that’s what the guys gather from this first installment in this six-issue series. As Andy and Derek point out, Diggle is an old hat at this kind of storytelling, and this helps explain why Control is perhaps the most tightly woven narrative they look at this week. And from the information found on the copyright page, this looks like a series with a promise of multiple volumes, something akin to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’s Criminal. At least the Two Guys hope.