Created by Gale Ann Hurd and Greg Pak, Dead Man’s Run is published by Aspen Comics. It is a high-concept, high action comic book series featuring a cartographer and his attempts to rescue his innocent sister and escape from Hell.
The story so far is that Captain Frank Romero has died and been sent to Hell, here depicted as the worst prison imaginable. A place where no-one escapes from, everybody is treated equally i.e.: badly, and is populated by the worst type of people who cannot be trusted at all.
Romero arranges for one of his employees Sam Carter to be killed and sent to Hell, to help Romero escape. Sam’s sister Juniper is also killed.
This sets up the high-concept of this comic – a jail-break from Hell itself.
Issue #3 starts off with The Warden of Hell questioning the captured Captain Romero. She is trying to find out who helped him kill Sam Carter and his sister Juniper. Her interrogation is interrupted by news of trouble on a different level. The action then moves to a scene with the Gluttons, monstrous beings, attacking Sam and the motley crew of inmates he has assembled to help him find his sister and escape.
They manage to defeat the Gluttons and we are then introduced to serial killer Helen and 12th Century engineer Musa, who jump on board Sam’s escape train.
The Warden then attempts to break through to the top. She manages to crack the firmament but doesn’t get through and appears to fall back to Hell and die. However the repercussions of her actions are soon felt. Several of Hell’s inmates attempt to escape through the crack in the firmament but are cut down by the armed guards on the surface. Fortunately Sam knew of the guards’ presence and prevented his companions from attempting the same thing.
They make their way to the other levels. In order to get through one of the doors which Sam tells them leads to
the next level Clara, the demonologist, reluctantly releases her demons. Once through the door they realise that it didn’t lead to the next level but to the captured Captain Romero. Sam lied to them.
Clara lashes out at Sam, knocking him down. Helen holds a knife to his throat. However as Musa points out, Sam is the only person among them who knows the way out. Like it or not they will have to help Sam find his innocent sister Juniper in order to have the chance to escape. It appears that some of the convicts of Hell are tagging along for different reasons. The innocent soul of Juniper is a prized commodity in Hell and she is now in danger from the convicts Sam is leading to her.
There is a lot going on in this issue, as there has been in the previous two. The action is absolutely non-stop and there are so many characters being introduced, possibly too many. Greg Pak just about manages to hold things together and prevents the reader from being totally overwhelmed.
While the art by Tony Parker didn’t blow me away but he does a solid job of bringing Pak’s vision to life, and the colouring by David Curiel is excellent.
Dead Man’s Run is still delivering plenty of action and excitement three issues in, I just wonder how long it can be sustained, and how the story will develop in the future.
If you like high-octane action with a suitably high blood and guts count you’ll probably love Dead Man’s Run. Then again you’re probably already reading it.
Issue #3 is out this Wednesday 19th September at all good comic stores and digital retailers.