Dead Body Road #1
Way back in the early 1600’s there was a little play by the name of The Revenger’s Tragedy. It tells the tale of Vindice, and man whose lover is murdered and the subsequent revenge he takes upon those who hath wronged him-- verily. The deeper Vindice spirals down into his pit of revenge, he begins to lose himself in his task. In the end, Vindice succumbs to the inevitable darkness that clouds his thoughts and (16th century spoiler alert) loses his life.
Sound familiar? Like the plot of at least 17 different movies? That’s because The Revenger’s Tragedy is one of the most copied plays in history of modern language, whether most people realize it or not. No matter the century, the tales themes are universal and timeless and the story in the right hands can read as fresh as new fallen snow.
Justin Jordan, no stranger to the dark side of a heroes quest himself, returns to Image Comics with Dead Body Road #1. A simple tale of revenge and death along the open highway. After a botched bank heist leaves his girlfriend dead, Orson and his trusty shotgun embark on a quest for revenge, hoping to tip the scales of justice and find peace for his fallen Anna.
Right off the bat, I can already tell that this book is going to be a kick-ass trade. Jordan works well within the confines of the genre, offering enough twists to keep this oft told tale fresh. However, this tale is a three act play and this issue barely scratches the surface of what could be in store. It almost unfair to review it since it merely a piece of puzzle.
This introductory issue lacks the human element needed to maintain interest. It’s all-too-familiar plot feels just that, all-too-familiar. However, to know this genre is to know the beats and Jordan is definitely keeping time. It’s just unfortunate that those sticking with only this debut issue will undoubtedly feel unfilled once they look past the books pretty wrapping.
And what pretty wrapping it is. Matteo Scalera’s pencils and inks are just popping off the pages. After Black Science, and now this book Scalera may just erk in their as 2013 best artist. Each panel, washed in sundrenched haze by colourist Moreno Dinisio, is jammed back with gritty detail.
The over-exaggerated features, as well as the chaotic use of angles, push this somber tale into a different realm entirely, almost as if it was taken right from a Grand Theft Auto players guide. The images work in perfect juxtaposition with Jordan’s script, offering gritty and adult dialogue, served on an over-the-top cartoon plate.
Dead Body Road #1 is off to a roaring start and is one book that everyone should stick with till the bloody end. It’s gorgeously drawn, expertly coloured and creatively written with only the best bits yet to come.
Dead Body Road #1
Writer: Justin Jordan
Pencils & Ink: Matteo Scalera
Colours: Moreno Dinisio
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: Image Comics