Comic Review: Dead Man’s Run #1

Dead Man’s Run #1
Written by Greg Pak
Illustrated by Tony Parker
Colored by David Curiel
Lettered by Josh Reed
Aspen Comics
Release Date: January 18, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

I love it when a single issue of a series excites me as much as a long form trade. First issues tend to be largely exposition, especially when dealing with brand new characters. How many times have you recommended a series to a friend by using the qualifier ‘Just wait until a few issues in, that’s when it gets going!’. It takes a skilled writer to both introduce and excite right off the bat, and that’s exactly what Greg Pak has done with issue one of Aspen Comics’ Dead Man’s Run.

Pak gets things going right from page one with a deadly prison break. No prisoners escape, but several guards are killed in the attempt. In the aftermath, we meet Sam and Juniper Tinker. Sam works at the prison, and his sister Juniper is urging him to get out of town. Just as Sam is ready to give in to her persistence, their car is struck by another vehicle. Sam is ripped from the wreck, and what follows can only be described as expert storytelling. Sam has been separated from Juniper and is lost in a prison unfamiliar to him. There are many strange things about this place, and lots of questions that need answering. I won’t go in to any more detail, because you really should pick this issue up.

Tony Parker and David Curiel bring this odd world to life with sharp detail and vivid color. As Sam finds himself in each new startling situation, the reader experiences a visual onslaught of amazing faces and settings that will keep your fingers primed to turn the pages as soon as you can. Their terrifying and unique characters are an excellent match for Pak’s narrative, intricately lettered by Josh Reed. The excitement builds to a final page that helps to satisfy your curiosities to that point, but also keep you amped up for issue two.

I really can’t wait to see where Pak takes this story. Sci-fi fans should definitely take note, as well as fans of horror and mystery. The story has so much possibility, I’m getting re-excited about it while writing this! After reading this issue, I immediately added Dead Man’s Run to my pull list, and you should too.

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