Bad MedicineIt was just a regular day in New York. Detective Joely Huffman was on a routine murder call when things suddenly turned super weird. It wasn’t the murder that was weird; it was the fact that the head on the body of her murder victim was invisible. A poor lab assistant had gone and gotten himself murdered – before or after his head turned invisible, Detective Huffman didn’t know, but she intended to find out.

Doctor Randal Horne had lost a patient on the operating table and decided to leave medicine and science behind forever. Fortunately for him he had come to terms with the death over time. Unfortunately for his and everyone else’s sanity, he did so by talking to said dead patient as a friend and confidant. When Detective Huffman finally tracks the good doctor down, he’s hesitant to tag along, but when he realizes another invisible person just might be to blame for the lab assistant’s death, he decides to jump back into the game feet first. But, maybe, our invisible guy isn’t the person they should be looking for. When things seem to be at their most complicated and confusing, werewolves start appearing in a small town. Dr. Horne and Joely join forces with a couple of doctors from the CDC to figure out what’s supernatural and what’s just plain ol’ against the law.

Bad Medicine, the newest book by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and artist Christopher Mitten, is a fun and engaging story that combines murder, detective work, supernatural stuff, and science fiction into an entertaining story that will hit the spot for a variety of readers. Yes, it is weird to have invisible heads and werewolves running loose and our heroes admit it. This isn’t necessarily a world where people are used to such otherworldly things, but once there is the understanding that it is, indeed, happening, everyone involved proceeds to attempt to solve the mystery – no matter how out of the ordinary. Over the course of the story, the mystery of the invisible head comes to a close, leading directly into our werewolf tale, and readers will want the stories to continue long past the last page. Each character is different, extremely interesting, and very well developed. They all work well together and readers will appreciate the different points of view that come from having so many central characters in the book.

Once again, I am enthralled and excited by DeFilippis and Weir’s work. Their story is really great fun, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Even though I’m not a big fan of science fiction or supernatural stuff, I loved how they combined it with the tangible notion of police work and solving the mystery at hand. Dealing with murders and werewolves can get messy, not to mention gory. Readers with more sensitive stomachs might want to stick to their other collaborations. Artist Christopher Mitten adds depth and darkness to the story and characters with his detailed, full color illustrations. The grittiness and shading he employs made the story even spookier, and everything seemed to be cast in a hazy and unsettling light. All aspects of the panels match up well and the thought bubbles and illustrations work hand in hand to bring the story forward to the reader. Readers will definitely be clamoring for the next adventure in store for our heroes. I know I will be!

Bad Medicine
by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir
Art by Christopher Mitten
ISBN: 9781620100813
Oni Press, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: T (Older Teen)

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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