Mini Comic Review - Stuff What you should do a read of.

Posted by BKole (501 posts) - - Show Bio
Boom! Studios, has been making waves recently. It's publishing some nice books, actually, it publishing some brilliant books. It's becoming a bit of a media vehicle in terms of the fact that it's whacking out these kiddie comics like Incredibles, the Muppets, and lots of Pixar related stuff, but also, it seems to be Mark Waid's little car of brilliance. 
 
 While it seemed at first Irredeemable was going to be a retreading, or a bloody close approximation of Empire, it's actually really rather suprisingly good. I must admit, I got on the band wagon rather late and ended up going back and reading about six issues, but it's a very good read every month, and there's some nice self aware bits in it where he acknowledges past super elements that'd got lobbed into the book - For example, when the only black character in the surviving superhero team laments on the fact that it was hardly very original that he was a black guy with electrical powers. Kind of nice to see that sort of self aware referential stuff without it bordering on the parody/crap satirical platforms that normally come with breaking the forth wall, even if this wasn't strictly breaking it. 
 
Anyway, this comic I wanted to talk about was Dead Run. It's the sort of comic where i am SURE that i've seen the concept elsewhere, and it's a concept that's proliferated comics currently, with the dystopian future element/zombies, but it seems to work really well. In fact, it's got a rather Ellisian central character. That lovable bastard who's good at his job, and has a heart of gold. 
 
The Central concept is that this main guy, Nick Masters, is a courier, and he's neglected to deliver something to San Francisco. That's pissed off his employer, who has beaten the crap out of someone close to Nick and stolen his sister. Good setup for a story? There's more. This Drug Baron wants to send Nick to San Fran with another parcel, and will release his sister once he's done so. The Catch? San Fran is the other side of the city walls, and the America you all knew and loved is now a massive pile of radioactive arse flecks. 
 
So, now our Courier goes and gets a boatload of guns, knifes and other violence causing accouterments, and visits another old Courier, who provides bog all in the way of hell. Now, his daughter, on the other hand, offers to be the Navigator, and thus we get the crux of the human story in this comic. 
 
I won't give away much more, but what a story it is. It's rather action packed, and engaging. It doesn't blow out the boat, and reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't have to. The Wheel works really good on it's own, has ever since we done gone invented it. This comic is really very good. It's engaging, action packed, and filled with character interaction, that lets you get to know the character,and allows the characters to grow a bit. Not a lot, we don't end up with two entirely different characters at the end, we just know that the bastard isn't as much of a bastard as we thought, and the girl isn't quite the annoying "hi, i'm annoying but necessary" character that was needed in the plot.  There's twists, intrigue, and the world seems to be pretty well developed. We're given information when we need it, rather than a character at the start going "Well, first there was this big bomb" and then sixteen pages of exposition and talking heads. It's concise and clever, and sometimes, less information is more. If America is a steaming pile of nuclear yogurt, what is the rest of the world like?
 
The art, as well, is nice. It's got a sort of gritty look to it, and to be honest, I was a BIT disappointed that it wasn't Eric Canete who did the interior work, like he did the covers. However, I can live with it because it was nice art. It flowed well, I could understand what was going on, the character designs were well formed and basically, while it didn't immediately make me go "WOW!" it was nice, solid art, and I wouldn't be sad if I had to look at it again. In fact, i'd be rather pleased if we got another Dead Run series out of this. It was left "open", and really, it was a good series. 
 
All, in all, Boom has put out another good series. Go and read this, and if you don't, I'll go into your room while your asleep, and move your stuff around. 
 
But wait, was there any bad bits, you ask? Well, nothing glaringly bad, to be honest. Technically, and artistically, it was nice looking. I just couldn't shake the feeling that...well, this was something I'd seen before. I don't know where, i don't know what on or whether i read it or something but it was...familiar. A bit like waking up next to your girlfriend, only, inexplicable, she has a beard. It's familiar , but you're pretty sure there is something in it thats different.

I have spoken.

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