‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1:’ Comic Book Review

I have to admit, when I heard that there was going to be a Dirk Gently comic, I was expecting something different. I thought it was going to be a comic adaptation of a book by one of my favorite authors—much like the Citizen of the Galaxy comic that I reviewed recently. That’s not the case here. Rather, this comic takes the character of Dirk Gently, an eccentric private detective created by Douglas Adams, and casts him in a whole new adventure, written by someone else.

It’s similar, in that respect, to the Dirk Gently TV show of a few years ago (What, you didn’t know there was a Dirk Gently TV show? There’s a Dirk Gently TV show.); however, though the TV show cast Dirk in new adventures, they at least referenced and took plot points from the original book series. This comic, however, does not. It’s a completely new adventure, with a completely new author, to the point where I have to wonder: Why call it “Dirk Gently” at all?

I could spend the rest of this review being bitingly cynical about the whole thing, but, in fact, the comic itself wasn’t half bad. It’s not Douglas Adams and it doesn’t read like Douglas Adams, but it’s fun in its own right.

We open a few thousand years ago, as some working-class ancient Egyptians try to achieve immortality, despite not getting a pyramid of their own. We then flash forward to the present day, where our titular hero is just arriving on a plane to San Diego, where his next case—whatever it may be—has taken him. Along the way he finds a shop that combines his two favorite things and runs afoul of a couple who turn out to be—well, you’ll have to read it to find out, won’t you?

It’s an amusing and off-the-wall story that’s definitely got at least a bit of a Douglas Adams-y vibe. In fact, one of the creators of the comic, Arvind Ethan David, was mentored by Adams early in his career. Still, it’s not the same. Entertaining though it is, it’s not Douglas Adams, and it doesn’t really feel like Dirk Gently either.

So, to conclude, if you’re looking for a fun, crazy adventure with an eccentric detective, then Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is worth checking out. But, if you’re looking for actual Dirk Gently-style hijinks and Douglas Adams’ humor, then you’re looking in the wrong place.

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