Advance Review: Dead Body Road #1
The men involved in his wife’s death must die. All of them.
A brand new series from Skybound kicks off in the beginning of December called Dead Body Road. The series is written by Justin Jordan and features art by Matteo Scalera. Moreno Dinisio handles colors with Pat Brosseau tackling lettering. This is a gritty, revenger thriller, crime book. The base concept is one we see many times, but should you be taking a trip down Dead Body Road?
The story opens with a heist. Things don’t go as planned and people get killed. One of the security guards murdered was the wife of a man named Gage. Our main character doesn’t have the answers to how his wife was murdered, but his old friend Jack has a clue. Jack Yablonski is a cop and he happens to be investigating the heist that led to Gage’s wife’s murder. He gives Gage a tip that he can’t really follow up in his investigation, but it sets Gage off on his quest to make the men that took his family away from him pay. When Gage starts tracking the young computer hacker Jimmy, things take a strange turn and the action starts coming at you fast and furious. Can Gage track down the rest of the crew that took part in the heist? Will he be able to kill each and every person involved with the botched operation? What was really stolen that day?
Jordan writes a solid introductory issue. We don’t have an entire story devoted to the wife’s murder and how Gage sets off on his mission of vengeance. That all takes place in a couple of pages and everything we need to know is shown or inferred. Our main character almost takes a back seat to the events of the crime and the overall feeling of revenge. It’s fast-paced and changes things up, but it doesn’t knock you off your feet. At times it feels like Punisher with a clearer purpose. He’s not clad in armor and wearing a skull, but you do get a Punisher vibe about the character and how he handles himself. Scalera’s artwork is amazing. The scratchy, looser style isn’t something you usually see with crime books like this but Scalera’s art works perfectly with the story. He’s also able to pull off great car chase sequences, no small task in comics. Scalera translates the emotions well to the page and gives everything a sense of motion and brutality. The colors are phenomenal. Very few times do you see a colorist and artist so perfectly in step. There’s a vibrant grimness to it as strange as that may sound.
Bottom Line: Dead Body Road reads as something familiar, but it does more than enough to make you want to come back for the second issue. Jordan writes some great dialogue and intriguing characters. The introductions are out of the way, so hopefully we start to see a little more differentiation from other stories of the genre. 4/5