Review: ‘Wicked Things #3’ – An Utterly Charming Murder Mystery

by James Ferguson

Lottie Grote may be awaiting trial for attempted murder, but that’s not going to stop her from solving crimes. She just has to get the cops out of her way to do it. Being under lock and key isn’t helping matters either. Despite all these obstacles, Lottie is finding clues and putting pieces together.

Everything in Wicked Things is so utterly charming that you can almost forget that the whole premise revolves around someone trying to kill another person. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this world and all it’s intriguing characters. Writer John Allison is a master of this quirky humor and it really shines in this book.

Despite Lottie’s intelligence and skills as a teen detective, she’s treated not just as a criminal, but as little more than the help. She can’t touch a computer and she’s busy getting everyone tea and coffee. While this is definitely getting her down, she’s still finding a way to solve crimes. You have to love that attitude.

Artist Max Sarin makes you feel every bit of Lottie’s frustration. Her expressions are on point and you see them build over time until she basically explodes. Picture the finale of any mystery where all is fully revealed. That’s the kind of play-by-play Lottie delivers by the end of this issue and it’s just as dramatic as you’d expect. Unfortunately, the audience is not as enthused.

Letterer Jim Campbell weaves us through this dialogue in a fast paced fashion. A ton of information is conveyed in short spurts, without ever feeling overwhelming. It’s a great pace.

There are some fun cartoony moments where Sarin adds some extra bits to the artwork, like a big spider to mirror the camera on a new phone or the little hearts or stars that pop up around Lottie’s head to add to the emotion of a given scene. It all adds to the experience and it’s always fun.

Speaking of those extra bits, colorist Whitney Cogar shades them wonderfully with bright colors that really pop on the page. Where Lottie’s world is currently grey and drab, between her new clothes and her dreary living arrangements, these elements really shine, bringing some a bit more levity to the book (not that it’s short of it).

Wicked Things is a joy to read. It’s the most charming murder mystery you’ll ever encounter. There are so many places this book can go and I hope we get to see them all.

Wicked Things #3 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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