Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dead Man's Run

I got sent a signed copy of Dead Man's Run #0, by Greg Pak, for review  (Ah, the power of twitter, it's fab!).  So, here comes the review.
First off, credits:
Writer: Greg Pak
Illustrations: Tony Parker
Colours: Peter Steigerwald
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: Aspen Comics.  After googling this company I see it was founded by Michael Turner, which explains all the Michael Turner linked ads in the comic.  Some of these ads feature art of truly Escher Girls propotions, but thankfully, Dead Man's Run doesn't.  Well, the boobs on the cover are a bit odd.  the lady in question isn't the lead role int hsi issue, although it looks like she will be a major player later on in the series.

As for the comic itself, well, I quite enjoyed it.  I knew I'd read some of Greg Pak's work before, but couldn't recall what.  A quick search on New readers... shows that I reviewed Magneto: Testament which is just brilliant.  With that in mind it's not surprising that I enjoyed this comic.

It starts off witha big beefy type of chap buying goods in an American grocery store, he's obviously not that rich as he ahs to be careful about what he buys.  The interaction between him and the store assistant on just this first page gives us a lot of information about the characters, the job of the protagonist and the world this comic is set in.  For example, there's a big explosion outside and neither beefy chappie nor store assistant look particularly worried or surprised.  I know it's a really simple thing to do, use all available space to feed us details about the world and it's background, but I marvel every time I see a writer/artist do this.  It makes the reading experience so much more pleasurable.

As the comic runs on we learn that beefy chap works for a prison and he's got a a dark past.  We don't know what yet, but he seems like a decent sort now.  He's not scared to criticise authority and he's doing something heroic now, as he describes his job as 'to defend the surface'.  There are lower levels to the prison called the City of Corruption, and actually, the lower levels turn out to be hell itself.  Literally.  Our hero descends, with his team of other prison guards, and one thing leads to another and he dies.   Now he's trapped in Hell and presumably he's going to want to get out.

There the comic ends.  I liked it.  Plot wise, it's very fast moving, a lot of ground is covered but it doesn't feel rushed.  It dealt with in a simple manner, not simplistic, but controlled and carefully.  The colours are bright and shiny - very Michael Turner in style (yes I know Turner pencilled, not coloured, but a lot of his work is coloured in a very similar fashion).

At the end is a page of prose from Greg Pak talking about the comic.  He describes it as 'jailbreak from hell'.  Pak talks about his research for the project and says that he believes hell is a place of injustice, where the innocent burn. Religious imagery and settings is a thing I'm very interested in, so I'm very tempted to add this to my pull list.  I think it could be a good contender for a New readers... review, once the trade is out.

Thanks for Mr Pak for sending me this review copy, I certainly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to people.  It's got a lot going for it and shows a lot of promise.  Click here to buy Dead Man's Run.

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