‘ODM:’ Comic Book Review

You ever have one of those days where you just wake up in a haze? Not in a "Man, I think I did one Jagerbomb too many" haze, but the kind where you can barely figure out how to work your way out of the sheets. Our protagonist, the 'firefighter,' comes to in a similar fashion, he just needs to work his way out of a body bag. Trying to scrape the scum off his brain and clear it out until he can remember what he's supposed to be doing that day, he wanders through the street to the local bank to grab some cash. He remembers. Barbeque. Gotta buy provisions, plus there's the chance the hot bank teller is working today. Then, of course, the bank gets held up. Ain't it always the way? There are a few things with which you never interfere a man. Don't mess with his money, don't be a C-blocker, and don't get in the way of his hunger. Especially that last one. You never can tell what a man might do when his life and hunger are backed against a wall. Even if he's dead.

ODM, a collaboration between Christopher Ewing, Marshall Loveless, and Mindy Lopkin, isn't the story of an exceptional man, but the story of an ordinary man put in an extraordinary situation. I was relieved when the 'firefighter' woke up alone in a hospital that this wasn't automatically going the route of The Walking Dead. A lone man coming to grips with a world gone mad with zombies and blah, blah, blah. Instead, we have a man going about his daily business and having to deal with what comes across his plate. Meanwhile, as he's fighting off bank robbers, getting shot, and trying to protect people out of instinct as a fireman, an ever-growing hunger keeps gnawing at him, until the opportunity to gnaw back presents itself, to which he takes much aplomb.

The artwork varies from panel to panel in both form and context. It can look wonderfully hand drawn in one frame and have a PhotoShopped look to it on the next. Portions of the gore are, at times, over the top, which is what you want from a book about a dead man walking. Larger panels are well used, being either concise, using negative space well to exaggerate the action in that moment, or packed full of action in the foreground, while using the background and entire space to emphasize the brutality or importance of the context.

As described by Second Sight Studios, the company releasing ODM, "A story of a man who wakes up dead. He finds he is now part of a world where monsters are real. To survive he must try to prevent becoming one himself. Can he find a way to become truly alive again? Will he ever be normal? Can he figure out how before the demon that made him comes to collect?"

Without giving away the remainder of the first issue, I'll leave you with this . . . the 'firefighter,' whatever he is, isn't the only type of being that has particular dietary needs. Grab a copy and see if it grabs you.

You can thank me later . . .

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