In an effort to thwart the robbery of a Van Gogh—hilariously, the robbers are taking advantage of the chaos surrounding a publicity stunt robbery okay-ed by the museum and carried out by a world-famous performance artist—the Dead Boy Detectives, Edwin and Charles, save the life of Crystal Palace, the performance artist's daughter.
For a moment, unlike most people, she SEES them. And not only does she see them, but she notices the Saint Hilarion's badge on Edwin's uniform. So, when she comes to, she asks her parents to send her away to boarding school—specifically, to St. Hilarion's.
Knowing that the place is FULL OF EVIL DOERS, the boys bravely follow her, returning to THE ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD THEY WANT TO AVOID.
I liked the muted colors in the flashback panels, and how Crystal is drawn more distinctly than the boys. I love that different fonts are used to differentiate between the two narrators, and how the choice of font evokes two very different voices.
I also especially liked the parallel images in the section where the boys tell us about their pasts through tandem flashbacks.
Their voices aren't just distinct because of the font:
Edwin Paine: The young lady had swooned away, and was now deeply unconscious.
Charles Rowland: The babe was out cold.
Heh. And I love that in case a reader didn't go in aware of the fact, that the authors make it clear in a few way that this is in the same universe as Sandman, the most obvious being this:
Edwin: What if Death had come?
Charles: She didn't.
Lots of other stuff, too: Crystal's desire to be a normal kid; her parents' total self-absorption; the friendship between Edwin and Charles; the easily-drawn connection between the horrors of what happened to them at Hilarion's and the horrors that still go on in schools and colleges today; and then of course the intimations of HUMAN SACRIFICE AND PURE EVIL.
Note to self: never trust a dude with a pipe shaped like a devil's head.
HECK, YEAH. Also! I clearly need to revisit Sandman, which is where the boys first appeared, and I need to read the Children's Crusade crossover series, because they pop up there, too. So many things to read! I AM GOING TO BE SO BROKE.
Book source: Purchased.