Dark Horse. Jul. 2024. 120p. ISBN 9781506733869. $29.99. SF
A hardboiled private detective named Verge narrowly avoids assassination by a blue-skinned martial artist wearing a pink robe. Before he can figure out who the guy is or what he may have done to provoke him, Verge is summoned to the headquarters of the planet’s largest corporation, Decipher Cosmics, where it just so happens that three identical blue-skinned, pink-robed men have been found brutally murdered. As the deceased are in no way connected to the company (at least as far as anyone is willing to admit), Decipher Cosmics representatives offer Verge a contract to figure out what’s going on and put an end to it. Verge’s investigation quickly reveals the victims to be members of a mysterious cult that’s dedicated to amassing a library of rare books by any means necessary. Stranger still, many of the books the cult is after feature Verge—or a similar figure, slightly altered to suit the tropes of various pulp genres—as protagonist.
VERDICT Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Torres (Superman ’78) draw inspiration from iconic pulp authors such as Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler, Robert E. Howard, and Philip José Farmer in this riveting celebration of genre storytelling.
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