I'll admit that one of my biggest complaints about DEAD BODY ROAD has been the lack of character development. There's been subtle displays here and there, but for the most part, the vicious action has taken over -- something that I'm not really complaining about all that much, of course. With this issue, Justin Jordan makes me eat my words and I couldn't be happier about it. It's still a thrilling conclusion, but the writer makes sure this issue is all about character. It took awhile to really dig deep into these individuals, but when Jordan finally does, he does so in an incredibly gripping manner. In just this one issue, he's able to speak volumes about who Orson Gage has become and why he's really gone on this mission.
One of my favorite things about Jordan's storytelling is his ability to deliver big amounts of information without ever making it feel like a scene that's there just for blatant exposition. He's able to give these critical conversations a natural fit into the scenes and you never feel pulled out of the moment just for an info dump. The way he concludes the story is very fulfilling and there's at least two moments that are sure to drop your jaw. What's especially satisfying is the way the narrative exists to basically prove one point: revenge is an ugly road. And in this case, it's one that's full of... well, dead bodies.
Matteo Scalera (pencils, inks) and Moreno Dinisio's (colors) artwork is exceptional. Since the very first issue, these two have proven they're the best possible fit for this gritty and ultra-violent story about revenge and loss. The brutal moments shock, these characters come to life with their intense expressions, and there's never a panel that feels rushed. Everything from the character work to the environments are topnotch and absolutely perfect for the book's tone. To make matters even more impressive, there's a few moments that are presented in a fairly creative way and do a superb job bringing you right into the chaos. Scalera and Dinisio clearly went all out for this finale and it really shows.
My biggest complaint: the story's over. Seriously, I have no major gripes with this conclusion.
DEAD BODY ROAD is an excellent story about revenge and what it does to a person, and this savage world is filled with phenomenal artwork. The road leading to this final chapter was full of intense action, but this last issue shifts gears just a little bit to focus on fleshing out the main cast. It finally gives the strong emotional connection to Gage that I've been looking for and it delivers on this big time. But don't worry, action junkies, because Jordan, Scalera, and Dinisio still manage to pack some gripping and cinematic madness into this ending. This is a story that most definitely warrants being re-read when the collected edition is released. Thanks for the crazy ride, DEAD BODY ROAD.