Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Availability Gap: What We Lose When Netflix Wins The Availability Gap: What We Lose When Netflix Wins Mysteries of Laura Review: Debra Messing on NBC Mysteries of Laura Review: Debra Messing on NBC Daily Reads: The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, The Last Blockbuster Video Stores and More Daily Reads: The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, The Last Blockbuster Video Stores and More New York Times TV Critic Writes Article About 'Scandal' Creator Shonda Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman' New York Times TV Critic Writes Article About 'Scandal' Creator Shonda Rhimes as an 'Angry Black Woman' Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham Comparing Lena Dunham to Woody Allen Is Unfair — to Lena Dunham 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) Now Streaming: 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Beginners' on Netflix Now Streaming: 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Beginners' on Netflix 'Ocean's Twelve' Is a Great Sequel About How Hard It Is to Make a Great Sequel 'Ocean's Twelve' Is a Great Sequel About How Hard It Is to Make a Great Sequel Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' Reviews: A Liam Neeson Movie Worthy of Liam Neeson 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' Reviews: A Liam Neeson Movie Worthy of Liam Neeson Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Daily Reads: Alison Bechdel Likes Non-Bechdel Test Passing Movies, Terry Gilliam's Influence and More Daily Reads: Alison Bechdel Likes Non-Bechdel Test Passing Movies, Terry Gilliam's Influence and More 'Transparent' Reviews: Amazon's New Series Is a Game-Changer 'Transparent' Reviews: Amazon's New Series Is a Game-Changer David Lynch on 'Eraserhead,' Women in the TV Industry David Lynch on 'Eraserhead,' Women in the TV Industry Criticwire Classic of the Week: Werner Herzog's 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Werner Herzog's 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion Newspaper Graciously Offers to Run Aspiring Film Critics' Work Without Charging Them Newspaper Graciously Offers to Run Aspiring Film Critics' Work Without Charging Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them Daily Reads: Why Toronto Is the Best Place for Female Filmmakers, In Praise of Fincher's Women and More Daily Reads: Why Toronto Is the Best Place for Female Filmmakers, In Praise of Fincher's Women and More The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go" The Scrambled Sexuality of 'Frozen's "Let It Go"

The Comic Books Behind 'True Detective'

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire February 21, 2014 at 4:51PM

We know all about 'True Detective's reference to supernatural horror fiction. What about comics?
4
From Hell

Earlier this week, I noted the significant overlap between True Detective, whose simple murder case has led to hints of other dimensions and quasi-Masonic conspiracies, and Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell, which does much the same with the Jack the Ripper murders. Now, GeekRex's Kyle Pinion has taken it a step further, finding traces not only of From Hell but the Moore-scripted The Courtyard and The Invisibles, written by Grant Morrison. 


The protagonist of The Courtyard, Pinion writes, is a detective named Aldo Sax who specializes in "anomaly theory,' wherein he collates seemingly unrelated data into a specified whole." Discovering the connections between three apparently unrelated crimes drives him mad, and that eventually leads him to act out the crimes he was previously investigating. That, of course, sounds a lot like what the present-day detectives suspect True Detective's Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) has been up to. The villain in The Courtyard? A drug dealer named Johnny Carcosa.

Courtyard

Morrison's The Invisibles likewise explores "M-theory," the origin of Cohle's "Time is a flat circle" monologue. But I'm particularly interested in the From Hell influence, especially in what it might augur for True Detective's finale -- which, we now know, is titled "Form and Void." In From Hell's masterful fourth chapter, the purported Jack the Ripper takes his carriage driver on a tour of London, relating the history of the city's pagan past and its Masonic underpinnings before revealing that the monuments he's highlighted form the shape of a pentagram -- and thus the entire city as a kind of hidden Satanic altar. I wonder if that's not where True Detective is headed, finally revealing a pattern sketched throughout history that only those who have faced true evil can see -- and thence can never forget. 

Invisibles

This article is related to: True Detective


E-Mail Updates