Written by Greg Pak (Planet Hulk, X-Men Phoenix-Endgame), illustrated by Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Warhammer 40,000), Dead Man’s Run is a project from Aspen Comics and Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment. I somehow missed this series premiere in the chaos of NYCC, but stumbled upon it being chatted about on twitter. Greg Pak tweeted that he was offering up previews for bloggers interested in checking it out. After a quick google search on the title I was very interested, and within a few days had #0 in my hands.
Picture this: A prison break. The prison is guarded by an elite force of skilled, hardened soldiers. The prison also happens to be located in Hell. Yes, Hell. This prison break just got a lot scarier.
An expert cartographer by the name of Sam Tinker is brought in to map out the prison for the team of guards being sent deep in to the bowels of Hell to find the party. We also meet the prison Warden, a sharp tongued, slinky lady, who warns the Captain about the dangers and temptations of venturing over the border between the surface and what lies below. The Captain learns quickly that she was not kidding around.
He also runs in to an old friend in Hell; clearly it’s easier to get in than he anticipated. It’s also easy to fall prey to your own weaknesses and greed in this place. And this is where the ‘prison’ part comes in. Hell is not just where you go to burn and rot after ending a life of sin, it’s where the sinner goes to pay back all the debt he acquired. It’s a prison that you unwittingly created in life.
Someone wants out of this prison and Dead Man’s Run #0 leaves you needing to find out who and how. The artwork in this book is crisp and clean, quite classic in an attractive way. The story moves fast and creates terrific turns, even in the small preview issue. I zipped through this in a few minutes, then went back to take a second, closer look. I love the premise of this story, it’s got all sorts of potential for evil characters and exciting scenery. I mean, who doesn’t love a good journey into Hell?
I recommend picking this one up now, at least #0, which is currently available. If the introductory issue doesn’t leave you wanting more, you weren’t paying attention. Issue #1 will be released November 2. If you’re like me, you’ll be primed with Halloween spirit and ready for the next spooky comic book fix.