The Gentleman #1
A Lovecraftian inspired horror noir story about the haunting ghosts from the past along with the ghosts from the forth coming future. The Gentleman, Oliver Solomon begins his investigation to help the mysterious and alluring Espere. But what Oliver learns only presents more questions while his ex boyfriend, Ralph, comes face to face with her horrific and deadly stalker.
Sometimes a book comes along unsuspectingly and blows you away. The Gentleman #1 is exactly that type of book. Described as a Lovecraftian mystery, the issue leans heavily into horror elements to lay out a dark yet alluring story that is simply captivating.
I’m a fan of the horror genre, and even more so when the story pushes the genre into exciting new directions. With a Black bisexual male leading a horror story, we find not only a unique sense of representation that is lacking from the genre, but also a fundamentally heartfelt tale that lends itself towards the mysterious noir influences. Oliver and his adorable pet cat (named from actress Simone Simon of 1942’s Cat People) are not the typical leads you would expect in a story such as this, especially not one with Lovecraftian inspirations. Let’s be honest, Lovecraft’s work was filled with bigotry. And while the horror is there, The Gentleman #1 brings a much more relatable and heartfelt flair that engrosses you into the story.
There are some interesting dynamics happening between not only Oliver and his ex boyfriend Ralph, but also with this femme fatale character named Espere. She feels like the wildcard of the bunch, with a lack of trust swirling around her from the start, but Oliver’s curse is what will have you truly asking questions. The supernatural elements take hold in issue #1 in a way that doesn’t impact the character development happening, helping to make the issue that much more enjoyable.
Massimiliano Veltri and Marco Pagnotta are onto something interesting with the artwork in The Gentleman #1 as well. The darkened color palette and abundance of shading help to pull in both the horror and noir aesthetics really well, and the character expressions are full of emotion. Myers letters tend to be a bit scattered for my own tastes in this issue, but that might have been due to the sometimes hectic panel structure as well. I found myself having to make sure I found my place when reading a bit more than I would have liked, but otherwise the visuals really are a lot of fun to dig into.
The Genleman #1 is an undoubtedly high-quality issue that has a worthwhile story to tell. It might be a touch too slow for some readers, but as a horror with heavy noir influences, its also a story that understands how to build tension. The pacing works in favor of this slowly unraveling mystery and gives time for the characters to be fleshed out in more dynamic ways. If the interactions between Oliver, Ralph and Espere aren’t enough to pull you back for the next issue, the ancient evil called The Void that is looming closer and closer is sure to do the trick. It’s truly an impressive book.
You can find The Gentleman on the publisher website HERE!
The Gentleman #1 leans heavily into horror influences to lay out of a dark yet alluring story that is simply captivating. With a unique sense of representation often lacking in the horror genre, this issue proves to be well worth your time and money.
The Gentleman #1: Darkness of the Void
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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