Oh, look, another obvious concept meant for another medium that “Eureka” creator Andrew Cosby has brought to comics for another writer to write. Yes, it’s that obvious. And, yes, no one doing these books has yet to figure out that comics are different than movies or TV and what works there (or, in this case, didn’t even work there) won’t necessarily work here.
“Dead Run” is a high concept book about a post-apocalyptic future where most of America is a barren wasteland and transport between cities is limited. Some of the few to actually move between cities are couriers like Nick Masters. You’ve met Nick before, by the way. He’s that rough badass with a heart of gold that’s forced into a tough situation by some very bad people. In this case, a drug lord who has kidnapped his sister and wants him to make a delivery to San Francisco, which is called the ‘Dead Run,’ and has only ever been done successfully by one person before. Accompanying Nick on this journey is the daughter of the only man to survive the Dead Run, which should spice things up a bit, because she is drawn attractively, and the two fight a lot.
The world here is barely developed, as is any other character besides Nick. Actually, Nick is barely developed beyond knowing that he’s a courier who won’t transport drugs and… nope, that’s it. Maybe if this were an ongoing series or there was a likable actor with whom we could identify playing Nick, this sort of storytelling would work, but neither is true, so it doesn’t.
Francesco Biagini’s art is good, far better than the material he has to draw. The opening sequence where Nick is chased by what look to be the mutant bikers that inhabit the radioactive wasteland between cities, shows off Biagini’s skill at depicting action in a manner that doesn’t simply replicate what you’d see on the big screen. He stumbles a few times later in the issue, going a bit overboard with his characters and making them act a little too melodramatic, but, on the whole, his art is very solid with a few glimpses of brilliance peeking through. One panel, where Nick sees his sister in a cage, is utterly fantastic.
“Dead Run” reads like an unproduced film treatment — one that was unproduced for a reason. The concept is uninspired, the characters vague and lacking depth, but the art is well done.