The Gentleman #1
Writer: Greg Anderson-Elysée
Artist: Massimiliano Veltri
Colourist: Marco Pagnotta
Letterer: Micah Myers
Editors: Marcel Dupree, Guido Martinez
Publisher: SFC Comics
Review by Josh Rose
The Gentleman #1 introduces Oliver Solomon, a private investigator with secrets, and one which gives him incredible abilities. He’s not in a happy place, and things don’t get any better when his ex-boyfriend Ralph breaks into his apartment with a woman searching for help. Readers are introduced to the main characters before diving into a Lovecraftian mystery. As Oliver is being drawn into Ralph and Espere’s life, he has to figure out what happened to members of their spiritual group and who or what broke into Espere’s apartment.
This book really lays down the groundwork before getting into the mystery. We learn who Oliver is, what his relationship with Ralph is, and that something bad happened between the two of them and their lover Lucy. It’s not in your face and it’s not a big deal. I’ve had the opportunity to review a few of Greg Anderson-Elysée’s books before, and I learned that one of Elysée’s dreams was to also see a black, polyamorous, bisexual man in a comic. If you want something done right, you better do it yourself.
This book is very much like a Lovecraftian horror story but without any racism. Elysée chooses to focus on building the characters in this issue, but drops some supernatural candy for readers to chew on until issue 2 comes out, mostly in the form of Oliver’s supernatural power. And that cliffhanger will definitely have me coming back for the next issue.
I really like Massimiliano Veltri’s art. The characters show a wide range of emotions, and the panel layout is easy to follow. In addition, its also very dark, which helps set the tone and atmosphere for this horror comic. Thanks to Marco Pagnotta’s colours, The Gentleman #1 feels like it takes place in a very realistic world where monsters are well hidden. The city lights at nighttime seem like they were taken from a photograph. And my favourite thing that Pagnotta coloured is the fluorescent blue lines that cover Oliver’s body.
The Verdict: Buy It!
The Gentleman #1 is the start to a brilliant and thoroughly creepy horror comic. And it’s a great comic for black LGBTQ people to see themselves represented.