Today marks the release of Dead Man's Run #1, written by Greg Pak and drawn by Tony Parker and David Curiel. The series is about a prison that is literally Hell and the men who are aiming to make their escape from the prison.
It's a clever high concept and the series opens with quite a bang.
Issue #0 introduced us to the chief prison guard for the prison, which the rest of the world does not know is actually a portal to hell. He dies at the end of #0. Also introduced in #0 is Tinker, a cartographer, whose importance when it comes to the hell prison is alluded to but not shown explicitly.
In #1, we get a recap as well as meet Tinker's sister, Juniper (who appears to be a different ethnicity as him - I guess they're step-siblings?)....
This is the set-up for the series - Tinker's death is arranged by Captain Romero, who plans on using Tinker's knowledge to escape from Hell. Tinker, meanwhile, wants to save his sister and, well, obviously he also would prefer not to stay in Hell, either.
This issue is mostly set-up (making it two issues worth of set-up, counting #0), but the set-up is certainly a clever one. Like I mentioned before, this is a great high concept. Pak developed the story with Gale Anne Hurd (producer on the Terminator films and Aliens) off of an idea by Ben Roberts.
Pak does an especially nice job developing the various characters in a short span of time. I feel like the Juniper/Tinker relationship is well formed. In addition, the mysterious Warden of the prison is delightfully enigmatic. Really, though, what more do you expect from a writer like Pak, who has always been known for his well-layered characters. That's the joy of a Pak story (or really any comic with strongly developed characters) - develop the characters and then throw them into an interesting story to see how they play off of each other.
Parker and colorist Curiel do a fine job on the artwork for the series.
In a lot of ways, this is an action-packed version of Dante's Inferno. That's certainly a good enough hook for me!