Posts tagged Aspen
Writing: Greg Pak
Art: Tony Parker
Published: Aspen Comics
Dead Man’s Run is a fast-paced, high energy story of a cowardly cartographer and his innocent sister who end up trapped in a horrible underground prison; this prison just happens to be in hell. Sam Tinker is determined to use his photographic memory and map making skills to find his sister and get the hell out of there before they both lose their souls forever. Hell is comprised of many levels, harboring different types of criminals and beasts. Sam was lucky enough to grab a glimpse of the map of hell during his meeting with the beautiful and mysterious warden. All of this was established in Dead Man’s Run #1; #2 doesn’t allow you to stop for air before plunging back into the adventure full force.
Greg Pak (Hulk) and Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) make a great pair for this comic. There’s something in the storytelling that is energetic but simple and matter-of-fact; the art echos that sentiment with bold colors, clean lines and lots of depth. Dead Man’s Run #2 introduces some intriguing new characters, fellow prisoners who are not clearly friends or enemies of Sam just yet. Everyone he meets wants the same thing that he does, which is to escape, but Sam is quickly learning that they all may have underlying agendas, some more honorable than others. He is, after all, in the company of murderers, thieves, rapists and liars.
I don’t want to give away too much, but I must say I love the face off with the giant, albino crocodile. The well drawn fight scenes do well to keep the energy racing through the book and thus far each issue has left me hanging on a new string, wondering ‘what the hell was that?’. Excellent, unique story behind this with really nice art. I definitely recommend Dead Man’s Run, if for nothing else because there’s no other comic out there right now telling this story.
If you want to catch up on Dead Man’s Run, it’s available now through Aspen Comics. Dead Man’s Run #2 will be available on shelves March 7.
Just to recap from my review of Dead Man’s Run #0, this story is all about an inescapable prison that happens to be located in the bowels of hell. Greg Pak (Planet Hulk) builds the tension from page one, when we pick up with Captain Frank Romero, the tough-as-nails soldier sent in to the prison to contain an attempted break out. He’s fallen to his death and in his last gasping breath orders his men to send him Sam Tinker, the cartographer who mapped out the prison’s maze of corridors for him. Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) conveys so much depth and mood in his artwork here. Scenes are lush and dense, giving the impression of shadows on the edges of what your seeing that works perfectly with the dark world Dead Man’s Run takes place in.
In #0 we only just dipped our toes into hell’s prison as we ventured down with Captain Romero to investigate the attempted break out. In Dead Man’s Run #1 we see how easy it is to end up down there, even as life seems to be skipping along happily for Sam Tinker above ground, when the right (or wrong) inmate wants you to join him. Sam’s journey starts brutally, sweeping his innocent sister along for the ride, and doesn’t seem to be headed in a positive direction as he meets malicious inmates, creepy, merciless prison guards and eventually the mysterious warden. She is both beautiful and cold, sad and clever, offering no assistance or comfort to Sam in his struggle to understand what’s happening. Captain Romero wants out of the prison and he’s using Sam’s map making skills to help him, meanwhile Sam is focused on saving his sister.
The writing in this story moves fast and smooth, keeps you turning the pages anxiously to see what’s coming next. Greg Pak does a great job of creating an atmosphere full of danger and violence without ever depleting the mystery of where the story is going. Tony Parker’s artwork is sweet on the eyes, vibrant and edgy. I enjoy his style of allowing some faces and features to blur a bit while sharpening details in the scene that would otherwise go unnoticed; the lines in a city through a car window, the muscles of a hundred grasping, bodiless hands, the terror in the eyes of a dead woman about to lose her soul forever. Dead Man’s Run #1 is super fun and tense, so far succeeding in telling a story of hell that hasn’t been done yet. I’m really looking forward to following this one and I recommend you pick it up at your local comic shop.
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Tony Parker
Published by Aspen Comics
Release date January 18, 2012