Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: Dead Body Road #3

I figured I'd take a break from my backlog and read something that was actually released this week. Why I decided to do this was simple: Dead Body Road #3 was released and, so far, I've absolutely loved this series (OK, that's two reasons but there you go). Therefore, it stood to reason to read this next and continue with the enjoyment of a man hunting down criminals for revenge (and who doesn't enjoy that).

Dead Body Road #3
So, As Gage continues to hunt those who killed his wife (or girl. Sister maybe? This point hasn't really been made clear), he and Rachel (the girl he's protecting) encounter Cobb (the interrogator) and, after a brief scuffle, discover they are all after the same thing. Meanwhile, Lake and Quint decide to fight back by making an offer to a biker gang which they just can't refuse.

After three issues, I'm totally engrossed in Justin Jordan's crime/revenge caper. This story continues to feel like a crime noir novel (as Jordan points out, in the vein of Elmore Leonard) cross with an 80's action movie. Though it's little on character development, it's big on action, with tough guys being the strong, silent types and the girls being, well, sarcastic, tough types.

This feeling of an 80's film is further enhanced by the art. Matteo Scalera is the perfect artist for this series. His dark, grainy panels are just fantastic, with rarely a fault to be seen. Menwhile, Colorist Moreno Dinisio brings fantastic colours to Scalera's terrific art, giving the story the right tone and mood, while also bringing forth fantastic contrasts between the lights and darks (I absolutely loved the panel where Lake walks into the drak bikers bar from the sunny outside).

If there is one problem with this issue, it's the editing. Twice while reading, I found myself completely wrong footed by cuts between scenes that make almost no sense. From the Motel room to a biker bar and then from there to the Mall. While the first cut, though confusing, moves the story along, the second didn't have any push shown to get to this point. I mean, the characters talk about arranging a meet, what was the harm in actually showing it? I think that this was simply panels which were cut from the book to make room for adverts and Jordan's mid-series notes, which is fine but it kinda stiffled my enjoyment.

Despite this though, Dead Body Road continues to be engrossing. It evokes the atmosphere of an 80's action/crime movie, in the vein of Leon, Ronin or the French Connection (Yes, I know only one of those is an 80's movie). I can't wait to see the rest of Gage's bloody rampage, though I just hope the bugs are sorted.

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