• An Enchantment. Christian Durieux. NBM. 72 pages. $19.99.
This most recent addition to the series is, as the others, set within the Louvre, using its collection as the backdrop for this sad tale of a doomed, retired bureaucrat and his encounter with a beautiful young woman who may or may not be real. It’s a great premise, and Durieux weaves a wistful and artful story.
• Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes. Matt Kindt. First Second. 272 pages. $26.99.
Kindt’s assemblage of odd stories evokes Raymond Carver and Chester Gould in this assemblage of miniature portraits and personal sketches tied together as a series of offbeat criminal cases solved by a master detective. Kindt’s protagonist is devoted to the letter of the law and not its spirit, solving cases that are largely victimless. His inevitable comeuppance is well constructed and haunting.
• A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium: Including: Jack the Ripper, The Beast of Chicago, Fatal Bullet. Rick Geary. NBM. 228 pages. $24.99.
Gathering six previously published Victorian Murder series stories into a single volume is an excellent idea. Geary’s well-researched and deftly told mysteries are a pleasure to read, and his meticulous, subtle and intelligent art make this a powerful and deeply rewarding collection.
• The Complete Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis. Self Made Hero. 296 pages. $27.50.
Cervantes’ Man of La Mancha receives the graphic treatment in this thoughtful and inventive adaptation by British artist Davis. It’s a smart and readable retelling, with witty and inventive use of color.
• Superman: Action Comics, Vol. 2: Bulletproof. Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. DC Comics. 224 pages. $24.99.
Morrison’s All-Star Superman (with artist Frank Quitely) is one of the best comics stories ever, so handing him the reins of the new Action Comics series to reboot the Man of Steel for DC’s “New 52” was a no-brainer. Morales is as good as any superhero illustrator, but Morrison’s decidedly non-linear multidimensional tale failed to establish a new, improved and superior version of the venerable Superman within DC’s new firmament. Maybe Morrison had a grand plan here, but the unfolding story fares no better as a collection than it did as a series of monthly comics — quite unlike Batman Incorporated.