Road Rage is a collaboration between Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. Initially published as a novella and then audiobook in 2009, the publication compiles the collaborative story Throttle, and the short story which it pays tribute to, Duel by Richard Matheson. IDW is in the process of publishing their comic book adaptation of Road Rage, and the impact of the first issue is solid and memorable.
Road Rage #1 is the first chapter of King’s and Hill’s Throttle. The story follows a biker gang known as the tribe, led by Vince, with a range of characters brought to life in vivid visuals. Also a member of the gang is a man called Lemmy, clearly named – and artistically designed – after the memorable frontman from MotÃ¶rhead.
On the road, the Tribe are on an expedition seeking profit from a bad meth deal. In the process, a truck catches up on them, and begins to take vehicular vengeance upon members of The Tribe – leaving the bloodied remains of bikes and bodies strewn across the highways.
Resembling all of Stephen King’s work, the story is incredibly firm and electrifying. The demeanor of the characters and of the plot itself is entrancing, and sucks you in very early on. It is truly compelling reading, with concise attention to detail, considerable attention made to essential foreshadowing, and a style that has King’s imprint all over it. Also being a collaboration with his son makes the tone of the story eerie, yet interesting.
Chris Ryall‘s adaptation of the story is well done, with an outstanding epilogue at the end of the comic explaining how the effort was planned out. Nelson Daniel‘s artwork for the story is of a high standard also, with the addition of the interesting application of Ben-Day dot texture used for shading. This is clearly deliberate; perhaps to hearken back to the 1970’s and 1980’s when Duel was initially televised, to capture the retro feel of the epoch. It is a fitting touch, and noticed with much nostalgia by this aging comic book reviewer.
The subject matter of Road Rage is most certainly not for young children. The harsh language, drug themes, and sexual allusions are all directed at a mature audience. Road Rage is essentially: Breaking Bad meets Sons Of Anarchy meets Duel meets Any Stephen King Novel. Full of suspense, with the appropriate touch of horror-style gore, a bit of action, and a whole load of drama, it is a damn entertaining read, and an absolute page turner – with no harsh criticisms I can offer on this collaboration, I highly recommend giving this one a look.