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R.I.P.D.: City Of The Damned #1 [Dark Horse Comics] Review

Posted on November 28, 2012 AT 06:55pm

An old Dark Horse classic has returned to comics with the “prequel” to the upcoming R.I.P.D. film with R.I.P.D.: City Of The Damned. The four-part mini-series takes place before the events of the film, and features Roy Pulsipher, Nick Walker and a horde of craziness as the first issue explores a bit of Roy’s past during the period around the time he joins the Rest In Peace Department. The Peter M. Lenkov series is now back with the creative team of Jeremy Barlow and Tony Parker, and it’s already gaining some steady ground as a precursor to a major film.

Roy is the main focus of the first issue, with Walker only making a brief appearance. Roy’s just found out some rather terrible news: He’s dead, and instead of getting some kind of final sentence, he gets sent to the offices of the R.I.P.D. for a job opportunity. The rest of the issue plays out in a familiar fashion to those who know the series: take in the lost souls who don’t want to be brought in for justice and go against some other crazy supernatural stuff along the way. Also:[Slight Spoiler] Genghis Khan is acting Chief Of The R.I.P.D., and while not meant to be funny, it was reminiscent of a buddy cop story with the undead. It’s awesome.

Writer Jeremy Barlow has already seemed to grasp the concept of an action/supernatural story featuring spirits, demons and cowboys all in one package. While the pace moves pretty quickly, Barlow seems to keep it in good control, shifting from scene to scene with clarity. The script is pretty tight, with quick back and forth dialog and an interesting premise, especially with the way the issue ended. Some of the conversations seem a bit silly and out of place (mainly just the tone and wordage from Khan), but the writing is there and there’s plenty of conversation to enjoy.

Tony Parker’s artwork is solid, with his signature style all over each page. His previous work on titles such asDead Man’s Run shows off his talent, which, while not high on detail, is great with human figures and environments. His ink work is nice as well, with the shadow working looking very nice on many of the pages. Michelle Madsen was also good with the colors, though the coloring is flat and lacking in lighting effects, though that is something that happens often on Dark Horse books. Shots at a distance do get a bit blurry due to the way the color and artwork are, but that’s pretty commonplace with the style used in the title.

SUMMARY: Most prequels/tie-ins for films aren’t any good, but thankfully, this isn’t one of them. The build-up for the R.I.P.D. film is well underway, and this adaptation of the Peter M. Lenkov original does a great job thus far of giving fans some information on the characters and history, all while telling an engaging story. The artwork is along the lines of many Dark Horse titles, though Tony Parker adds his own unique style into the title. The series is getting off to a great start, and hopefully the next three issues of the mini will get things really rolling for the upcoming film and will continue to give fans a bit of nostalgia for long time fans and will hopefully gain several more with this offering.

  • THE GOOD: Engaging Story, Good Artwork, Buddy Cop Khan
  • THE BAD: Flat Colors, Blurry Distance Shots
  • THE UGLY: Last Page. Go Look. Ugly In An Awesome Way.

Score: 8.5

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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