‘Dead Vengeance #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

It’s a Zombie Jamboree.

Fans of Eric Powell’s titular Goon will feel right at home at the beginning of this new series from Dark Horse.  Suspended in a watery tube at a sideshow attraction, a corpse floats free of the restraints of time until it awakes hungry . . . to know who he is.

Bill Morrison has concocted a great script that fits the ideal of the pulp serials from the period of the comic.  Much like a noirish detective drama, our protagonist slowly fills us in on his life before becoming an oddity on the circus circuit.  A new spin on the “man out of time” theme, we are filled in almost entirely on his life and what led him to shuffle off his mortal coil.  There’s a great deal of exposition in this issue; it’s all interesting and presented in the style of the time, but it at some points feels a bit slow.  That may be because, today, we’re not used to allowing a story to develop.  We need everything to go now and big.  I tend towards works that do that, but there’s a great feel of the Golden Age that makes the experience feel that gentle power of nostalgia even though it’s a new property.

The art work by Morrison, inking by Keith Champagne, and coloring by Carlos Badilla continue this feeling, seemingly lifted right from the four-color pages of the dawn of the comic age.  Simple lines and bold, brilliant coloring evoke the period and infuse it with the stark division between good and evil that was so clearly delineated.  It’s kind of refreshing in today’s shades-of-grey world.  The art team has definitely done its research on the style, and they execute it very well.

A good shift from the normal in more than one way, this is an interesting start to a series steeped in the styles of yesteryear.


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