Artists: Tony Akins and Ilias Kyriazis
IDW, out now
In which Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective, arrives on American shores and auditions various assistants as a case may or may not happen around him…
I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about this new version of Dirk Gently from the first issue of the comicbook, but he very definitely grows on you – rather like his pronounced sideburns in this stylized depiction. Particularly early on, there’s a touch of the Tenth Doctor about him – to the extent that it almost feels based on David Tennant’s performance – but Chris Ryall (as much as anyone can do) gets the lightness of Douglas Adams’ touch for the character, which is echoed in the almost frenetic artwork throughout.
There’s plenty of throwbacks to the original novels (as well as their source material – a certain professor at Cambridge looks incredibly like Professor Chronotis in the aborted Shada serial) both in terms of plot mechanics and characters, but if you’ve not encountered Dirk before, it’s a strong introduction to his very particular brand of detection. Things seem to happen around Dirk in a way that never quite feels contrived and there are times that you almost groan when you realise what is inevitably going to happen next.
With a lovely tribute to Adams included, this is a fun start for a new set of adventures – and I have to wonder just how much the new BBC America series will resemble it…
Verdict: Dirk is back – as irritating / engaging as ever. 8/10