The Dead Boy Detectives 4 (November 2001)

As expected, the series comes to a solid, if unspectacular, conclusion. It seems like Brubaker front-loaded a little, filling the first issue with content and having to pad a little throughout the remainder.

There’s not really much memorable about the issue, storytelling wise–it’s never clearly stated why kids can see the ghosts, for example, while adults can’t. Especially since the kids in question are jaded teen runaways, who undoubtedly are more mature than, well, lots of the adults the leads pass by undetected.

Talbot’s the star here. He’s got some amazing panels, simultaneously horrific and charming. The issue has one big action sequence and he and Brubaker match up beautifully on it… Brubaker’s writing, at the standard thriller revelation moment, is very strong. What he doesn’t do in plotting, he makes up for in his excellent scenic writing.

It’s too bad Vertigo didn’t publish more Dead Boy mysteries.


The Secret of Immortality, Part Four; writer, Ed Brubaker; penciller, Bryan Talbot; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Daniel Vozzo; letterer, Willie Schubert; editor, Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

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