The second issue of Dead Body Road, penned by Justin Jordan (of Luther Strode fame), is a body bag packed full of visceral action and steely, terse dialogue that lands with the shock and surprise of a sucker-punch. The rusted, windswept world that he’s created with Black Science’s Matteo Scalera is a lean and breezy look into the criminal underworld, the search for revenge, and a whole lot of shooting.
Meet Gage, whose wife has been killed during a daring bank robbery. Meet Rachel, whose boyfriend Jimmy was killed trying to double cross the gang that robbed the bank. Meet Lake and his crew, a group of sociopaths trying to reclaim what Jimmy stole. Now add some bullets, a few muscle cars, a couple dozen bullets,and set the blender on high: You have the Dead Body Road Molotov cocktail. And the beauty of this story is the simplicity of the plot. Jordan doesn’t waste panels trying to emotionally attach you to these characters, they’re just more meat for the grinder. Put the players in place and let them do what they do best: shooting and cursing and killing. I’ll be damned if it isn’t some of the most fun you can have reading a comic book.
Matteo Scalera continues to pad an already impressive resume, this time with a welcome assist from Moreno Dinisio on colors. The action and gore is fast, sticky, and brutal, with the dilapidated buildings and tumbleweeds adding to the books ramshackle appeal. These aren’t high tech, criminals in expensive suits, they’re pierced, tatted up blue-collar bad-asses not afraid to get bloody, and the art team works them to great effect. The colorful designs of Lake’s crew makes them more than faceless henchmen, even if they’re dispatches within a few pages.
The only drawback to Dead Body Road is the medium. Like the best issues of The Walking Dead, one feels as if the experience was over too quickly, and leaves you with a deep craving for more. But if a 30-day wait for issue three is the worst part of this phenomenal book, it’s a burden I’m willing to accept. Much like standing in line for a rollercoaster, the long wait for the brief rush of action is, in this case, totally worth it.
Dead Body Road by Justin Jordan and Matteo Scalera is available for purchase Wednesday, January 22nd from Image Comics.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
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