There are many conflicting theories about what happens to us when we die. This is my new favorite. R.I.P.D. is a straightforward buddy-cop story about two dead cops patrolling a new beat. Sherriff Roy Powell is the grizzled veteran, just three weeks from retiring from the Rest in Peace Department. His new partner is the recently-deceased rookie, Nick Cruz. Together, they will work to solve Cruz’s murder, deal with a domestic disturbance, and try to stop a madman from taking over Hell.
The story, by Peter M. Lenkov, does a great job of introducing us to the world and characters, without letting the pace lag at all. And, man is this well-paced. And, funny. And, occasionally disturbing. And, a good action story. The characters are relatively straightforward but still interesting enough to want to follow. Ultimately, everything in this book dances on the tightrope between familiar and bizarre. There are cops who act like cops, even when they are busting demons. You know the lawyer is going to be sleazy, even though he’s an angel. This balance might be one of the biggest challenges that a book like this faces, and R.I.P.D. does it well.
Lucas Marangon’s pencils and Randy Emberlin’s inks bring this marvelously odd vision of the afterlife to umm . . . life. Detective Cruz is the quintessential young cop, and Roy Powell has the squarest jaw I have ever seen. The art in this book does a great job of adding to the story. Before you are told that Powell is a calm and relentless character, the art tells you. Before the story goes into his background, you know that Cruz is a talented hothead. You even know exactly how dumb some of the demons are, just by looking at them. The demon designs are pretty spectacular, especially the minotaur mummy.
This is one of the more entertaining comics I’ve read. Everything about it helped to maintain a consistent feeling of fun. The story hits all the right notes, and the art complements it perfectly. If you are looking for an entertaining comic to read, this is an easy call.
Four Undead Cowboys of Justice out of Five