Review: Dead Body Road TPB
Collects DEAD BODY ROAD #1-6 The men involved in his wife’s death must now die. All of them. This volume collects the entire DEAD BODY ROAD miniseries, a bruising story of one man’s revenge and the dark road he travels.
This week all six issues of Dead Body Road combine to form the trade paperback for Image Comics miniseries from writer Justin Jordan and artist Matteo Scalera. Moreno Dinisio handles colors with Pat Brosseau providing lettering. The series got a lot of buzz online, but how does it fare when you can read it all in one shot?
When a robbery goes south, a police officer dies. Gage’s wife was that police officer and he’s not dealing with the death very well. He’s grief-stricken, but he also has a belly full of white hot rage. The men that were involved in the robbery have to pay and they have to pay with their lives. Gage has a few connections on the force, and his old friend hands him a lead that’s a long-shot at best. Gage’s journey for vengeance takes some surprising turns as the gang behind the heist find themselves in our protagonist’s crosshairs. When a blast from Gage’s past is on the trail of the stolen money, things take a surprising twist that may just add a few more bodies to the ever-growing body count. Can Gage get the answers he so desperately seeks? Will killing everyone involved with the crime bring him any peace?
Jordan writes a fantastic story. Taken as a whole, this is a revenge story that takes everything you love from things like Death Wish, Punisher, and westerns in general and combines it into something fresh. Gage is kind of like the Punisher in a way. He’s fueled by a death in his family, though his true motivations are much more complicated and darker than anything Frank Castle has done. Jordan writes great dialogue that brings the characters and world to life in relatively short stretches of what I call ‘info dumping’ pages. This is a tightly constructed six issue story and Jordan keeps the action speeding along while still offering a fully-formed plot that pulls you in and plays with your emotions. Scalera’s art absolutely runs the gamut throughout the event. There’s everything from fistfights, shotgun blasts to the face, to adrenaline soaked car chases. A car chase is something that is generally avoided in comics due to the difficulty of pulling it off in a believable and aesthetic way, but Scalera embraces it and teaches a master class on how to do it correctly. One entire issue is a car chase wrapped up in an interrogation scene. It’s utterly brilliant and is worth buying the entire trade alone. Dinisio’s colors do a lot of work. You get bright and colorful scenes, dark and dreary scenes, and a continued feeling of grittiness throughout. It’s a perfect complement to the art that just makes everything so sleek and beautiful.
Bottom Line: If you missed Dead Body Road the first time around, you definitely need to pick this one up if you’re a fan of the whole revenge/Tarantino/action scene. Dead Body Road is a well-oiled machine. 4.5/5
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