Published on September 30th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Dirk Gently #4 Review
Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of all Kings
All of the various story threads from this Dirk Gently adventure are heading in the same direction, unknowingly with the same destination, but there are still unanswered questions; one of which is, why isn’t this comic better than it is?
In this issue Bill Parsnip attempts to threaten the detective agency clan with a gun while they all try to get a grip with what’s going on. The confrontation doesn’t end well and someone gets shot dead. For real. Sort of. And then the Opening of the King Ahktenkhamen Exhibit draws all the players together, including the Immortal Mister Bird who has been passing through time the slow way.
The narrative has all the right elements; Dirk being mysterious and superior, always one step ahead while at the same time giving the appearance of blundering around in the dark; a collection of a supporting characters each with fascinating stories of their own but they never seem to get a chance to tell them; a murderous villain or two; and of course the twisty story full of seemingly unrelated threads all of which are somehow interlaced. However it doesn’t fit together very well. The main problem lays with the humour, an important aspect of Dirk Gently’s makeup, which just doesn’t have the right pacing. The punchlines either come a little bit late or fall flat altogether; at no point will you find yourself laughing out loud. This lack of humour makes some of the other elements of the story difficult to swallow and also makes a number of the characters appear 2 dimensional.
On the other hand, the characters are wonderfully drawn, full of energy and brimming with emotion however the setting is often simple or missing entirely. This is not always a bad thing, especially when some important point is being made about the actual plot but the absence is felt in other scenes.
For the penultimate issue in this story arc, the general narrative is satisfactory. All the elements are brought together for the final confrontation next month and there is a surprizing number of action sequences to keep the reader engaged. But at no point does any of it have the Wow factor or stand out in the sea of comics currently racked in comic book stores. There is something missing and that is Douglas Adams’ natural charm, unfortunately Chris Ryall hasn’t managed to capture any of that in this issue. Read only to have the full completion of the story.
Although, the variant cover (below) by Robert Hack is a beautiful piece of Art.
Title: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Chris Ryall
Artist: Tony Akins/John Livesay