Harker issue 6; a fitting conclusion to a great first storyline

Published On August 19, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Harker issue 6

by Roger Gibson and Vincent Danks

Ariel Press


It’s getting to the stage where I can’t really review Harker properly anymore. I’ve already reviewed the first 5 issues and found so much to enjoy that I’d imagine it’s obvious that, unless Gibson and Danks completely screw it up, issue 6 is going to be equally praised.

But, if you’re new to this, here’s what you’ve missed:

A horribly mutilated body has been discovered on the steps of st George’s Church in london, just around the corner from the British Museum. Detective Chief Inspector Harker, and his assistant Detective Sergeant Critchley, experts in multiple homicides, are on the case. The body is unidentified and appears to be the result of a horrific ritual killing. Harker is skeptical, but book fibres found underneath the victim’s fingernails have led our detectives on the search for an Occult book: The Key Of Solomon“.

That was from early on, since then DCI Harker has been proven right, the Book Of Solomon and the Satanic cult was really just an excuse for a good old fashioned bit of wife swapping and the murderer turned out to be just another jealous (although somewhat unhinged) spouse. Of course, along the way, we got to revel in the extremely well written and funny interplay between Harker and Critchley and witness a perfectly written police procedural beautifully illustrated by Vince Danks.

Harker 6 a

(Harker may be in a little trouble here, from Harker 6 by Roger Gibson and Vince Danks.)

And thank god, they’ve delivered a bloody entertaining, very satisfying end to the first storyline. Where the first 4 issues were all about the setup and ongoing investigation and full of cracking dialogue and some really funny lines, the final 2 issues are more concerned with the endgame, the bits where Harker and Critchley crack the case and track down the killer. I said last time with issue 5 that it was slightly disappointing (although understandable) that the cut and thrust of the dialogue between the characters had been sidelined to enable the plot to come to the fore. Similarly with issue 6, the plot is the thing once more. This one’s all about the wrap up, as Harker finds himself trailing the killer through underground tunnels, whilst Critchley, realising what Harker’s already discovered, is racing to the scene.

Harker 6 b

(……..”Shall we slip away quietly then?”, “Might be a plan. Try not to look guilty” And that’s a perfect end to a perfect series. From Harker issue 6 by Roger Gibson and Vince Danks.)

That he makes it, that Harker and Critchley survive, that the killer is caught, none of these things will be a surprise. That I thought it was a bloody great ending to a thrilling and brilliant series probably isn’t much of a surprise either. Harker issue 6 is a great wrap up to what has been a really cracking storyline.

bookofsolomon harker-7

(More Harker; the forthcoming collection and issue 7, the start of “Murder By The Book”.)

The collection of Harker 1-6 is out in October. It’s called The Book Of Solomon. I imagine I’ll be telling you how good it is all over again nearer that time. Before that comes Harker issue 7, the first issue of the second storyline: Murder By The Book. Like Roger says on the Harker blog – this one’s a funny one, as I’d have expected really – we’re going to be back to setup here and I’m already looking forward to it. Individual issues of Harker are now available from all good comic shops (there’s a list here) and from the Ariel Press shop online here.

Richard Bruton.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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