This comic might not be for everybody, I’ll admit that much. I’ll also say this comic is probably perfect for the person it is for. There are plenty of cool moments to be found in these pages. The ideas and concepts presented are certainly pretty nifty, if not quite perfect. The first issue set up Alabaster Graves, hearse driver for the dead that others don’t want to handle, and put him in a car with the granddaughter of a newly deceased holy man. It’s a cross country trip with a difference.
The villain of the piece clearly steals the show in this issue. Fallow is a necromancer who looks like a jam donut microwaved for far too long. The visuals on this guy are creepy, but it’s his mission that sets him apart from the crowd. Every good gothic horror/cross country/action tale needs a top villain; Fallow fits the bill pretty well. He’s out to collect the mystical parts of others and take them by extreme force. He’s becoming a Frankenstein shrine to the dark arts and this mission of his makes him quite an intriguing bad guy. Granted, we don’t really know why he’s doing it, but motives are for sissies. This guy is evil and you must accept that.
It’s just a shame that the hero of the piece is nowhere near as interesting as his nemesis. Graves does more talking than anything else in this comic. For an action comic lead he doesn’t really do much for the majority and this is a major fail in getting us to not only connect but also admire this lead. By the time he does enter an undead action set piece, all he manages to do is put his pedal down in the suped-up hearse he rocks and then later fire off a few ineffectual rounds. It’s a shame that his ass kicking and bubble gum chewing ways are being saved for the final issue, as I’d like to see him do something now.
This comic suffers seriously from feeling like a movie pitch (either hopeful or rejected). Nearly every character feels like they’ve been photo-referenced for the art, and not always successfully. The actions and personalities even feel cribbed from a few flicks you’ve probably already seen. The artwork is good; These aren’t just colored storyboards, but the overall vibe of the piece just seems like the creator really wanted to see it on a screen.
This issue puts everything in its place so that the bombastic finale can rock our worlds next month. Sadly, this means that this month our worlds are only mildly shaken, not stirred. The writing isn’t bad, but it certainly takes its time. I guess when you’ve got such a large issue (and the 48 pages of story are pretty good value for the price tag) you don’t need to slice through every scene and all of the tangents are pretty decent fun. This comic is fun but you need to switch off a little to enjoy it.