Posted on September 19, 2012 AT 09:50pm
After a bit of a break due to some issues within the title, Aspen has returned one of their epic new titles to the comic world once again. Dead Man’s Run proves something very few want to think about, but that makes a bit of sense in retrospect: that Hell is real, and exists in California.
So far, cartographer Sam Tinker has had a rough go of things. He’s died (along with his sister), gone to Hell, met some interesting psychopaths and demons, and had to deal with a whole lot of violence and mayhem. For Sam, however, there is a way out for him, and his sister Juniper, who is the only innocent in the entire place. Using his skills and a team of aforementioned psychopaths, Sam plans an escape.
After the hiatus,Dead Man’s Run picks up right where it left off, in several ways. In terms of plot, it continues to follow Sam and his band of not-so-merry misfits are making their way through the many levels of the prison, battling their way through demons, guards and criminals. The long time period between issues made it a bit more difficult to follow at first, but the presentation is solid, the artwork is there, and the action is just as apparent as ever. Even as some familiar faces make their way back to Sam, who seems to be the only one who knows the way out.
Aspen has a distinct style about them when it comes to art, and Tony Parker keeps that trend going strong. While some points seem a bit grainy, and crisp colors and detail have never been a major focus on their end, it’s never needed to be. Parker and colorist David Curiel present a gritty, violent tale full of horrors, and they do it with gusto.
Writer Greg Pak has done some great work in the past, and this trend also continues, bringing fans back to the dark world of the Andrew Jackson Maximum Security Correctional Facility, back to the journey of Sam Tinker, and re-introducing them to the horrible people who inhabit the surrounding areas. With all the demons and otherworldly monsters around, the story never flowed terribly well, but Pak got the job done, and with a few more issues of plot (hopefully a bit more consistently), things should really get moving in a fun and horrific way.
Summary: Bloody and terrifying, Dead Man’s Run is a fun and violent ride that took far too long to get back into. The hiatus put a damper on the flow, which had some struggles throughout the issue, but things are getting back on track for this action-packed ride. With dynamic characters and an intriguing plot, things inside the prison look like they’re only getting started. While it had its shortcomings, it’s a solid book, and one that fans should be looking out for.
The Good: Engaging Story, Interesting Characters
The Bad: Grainy Artwork, Pacing Issues
The Ugly: Time Between Issues
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