By Mark Wheaton & Joshua Hale Fialkov (story), Rashan Ekedal (art), Jon Graef (colors)

If the TV shows “CSI” and “Supernatural” got drunk and hooked up at a party, they could have given birth to this little gem of a comic, the first in a four-part limited series. In fact, this first issue even reads like a pilot episode, and I mean that in a good way.

“The Cleaners” are a for-hire team of trauma scene cleaners led by Robert Bellarmine, a former doctor whose attention to detail and methodical nature I think are meant to remind us of Gil Grissom. In beautifully detailed double splash pages, Bellarmine moves through crime scenes explaining the nature of his work in jargon that sounds appropriately technical, but is still accessible to the reader. I especially loved how captions explain Bellarmine’s tools, or highlight interesting facts about the crime scene. While working for a high profile client, Robert is told about a big job that covers a neighborhood. He arrives to find a total bloodbath, and begins putting the residents at ease as he cleans up the mess.

Bellarmine’s investigation suggests a local blood bank or waste disposal company is probably dumping its supplies in order to cut costs, but the end of the issue reveals something even darker and more disturbing lurking in the city. Something that does not want to be found.

It can be hard to find new, original ideas in comics, but this is definitely one of them. Although this first issue was a little light on plot, Wheaton and Fialkov have still written an excellent fusion of noir and supernatural horror that loves its genres and respects their trappings.  And to compliment the unique tale, Rashan Ekedal’s art is suitably detailed and gritty, proving to be the right choice to realize Wheaton and Fialkov’s story. I can’t wait to grab the next issue and see where they go with this.

Grade: B+

-Tony Rakittke

Grade

Conclusion