Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
The Dying and The Dead #1
Hickman & Bodenheim
The Dying and The Dead is a hefty first issue that will give readers enough to decide whether the story intrigues them or not. Basically, the beginning of the comic book establishes a mysterious box that is important enough to spring up a massive murder scene at a wedding. The comic then takes a complete turn as it unwinds a story about a man looking to extend his dying wife’s life by making a deal with devil essentially. The comic clocks in at fifty plus pages of story for the price of $4.50. This alone makes it a terrific bargain. DC, Marvel, IDW and others would happily charge $8 or $9 bucks for this comic. I urge everyone to at least give this a look through.
The comic works best because of the artwork. There are two key elements at play here that makes the book work so well artistically. First, the artwork shades entire panels (in some cases pages) in one color. Background, foreground, line work, everything. This establishes a mood for just about every scene and sometimes the expected emotion of the scene. Secondly, the artwork is detailed to the point that no captions or dialogue are necessary to convey the story to the reader. This isn’t the case with every comic book out there but this book definitely wants to show and not tell and that is a huge accomplishment. The book is a visual spectacle that sinks the reader into this universe very quickly. This, for fifty some pages, is worth the cover price.
The story has a lot working for it. While the plot threads are sort of introduced, only one is really explored. The final third of the book is spent on an old war hero, as he sits by the bedside of his dying, elderly wife. He’s given an opportunity to interface with an interesting group to determine whether he is willing to do their bidding to save his wife’s life. This begins to fold in the elements that occurred in the beginning of the comic. The book certainly does have an Indiana Jones feel to it.
The opening of the book is mostly silent and this is what really put me on the edge of my seat. Over the course of the ten or so pages before the opening credits is the wedding massacre scene and it is flawlessly executed in its visual presentation and launches this book into the story as if it were a big blockbuster movie.
The Dying and The Dead is not going to come out each month with a massive book this size. In this regard the story is bound to slow down. However, as far as opening issues there isn’t much more this book could have done with the length its been given. It’s a dense comic with story but at a swift and entertaining pace. I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles