NYCC Pick-Up Advance Review: Dead Man’s Run #0
Posted by Joshua Mocle on Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Written by Greg Pak
Illustrated by Tony Parker
From acclaimed “Hulk” writer Greg Pak, legendary “Walking Dead” producer Gale Ann Hurd, and Tony Parker, penciller of the Eisner-nominated “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, comes this winter’s biggest blockbuster new series – DEAD MAN’S RUN!
They call the prison “Hell.” And they just might be right. The nation’s toughest soldier heads into the world’s most deadly maximum security lock-up and uncovers a world of terror and temptation beyond his darkest dreams.
Featuring a brand-new 12-page story that sets the stage for next month’s upcoming premiere of DEAD MAN’S RUN #1, make sure to get in on the ground floor of this newest exciting Aspen hit series! Complete with an additional sketchbook section showcasing the astounding artwork of series artist Tony Parker, never before seen character designs and sketches, and surrounded by a stunning new cover, this special zero issue is definitely not to be missed!
After his last creator owned project was deemed “utterly fantastic” by our writing staff, how does Greg Pak’s latest non-Marvel Universe book, created in conjunction with producer Gale Ann Hurd and Aspen Comics, stack up?
Click below to find out!
Since he began his legendary run on The Incredible Hulk back in 2006, Greg Pak has been stunning readers with the sheer depth he brings to his work. If ever there was an advocate for comics not existing in a vacuum, it is Greg Pak, who often proudly displays the influence of things like history, philosophy, pop culture and cinema in his work and has made a name for himself by telling stories that reach far and wide and yet still create a personalized reading experience for the reader. I am happy to say that he continues the trend, at least so far, with Dead Man’s Run.
It’s hard to really evaluate this preview issue as I would any other comic, since clocking in at 12 pages and a whole heaping dose of preview art, the book functions more like a trailer for a film (in more ways than one) than a complete comic story. However, this is very much the point of this issue and given what we ARE given, there is a lot to be intrigued by here.
At it’s core, this book is very much an action film on paper and the influence of Hurd and her decades within the film industry on properties like Aliens and Terminator becomes very apparent almost immediately (spoilers, something blows up on page 1). However, unlike other properties I’ve seen have a hollywood element applied to them, this time around it happens very fluidly and what could very easily become invasive actually ends up working in the story’s favor. As a long-time reader, I am not someone that is easily impressed by widescreen storytelling as it often spirals way too quickly into mediocrity driven by poor storytelling. It seems the answer to offsetting this phenomenon this time around was Greg Pak himself.
Simply put, this is the guy that could make the Hulk punching a giant alien space bug into intelligent reading, and throwing him into a sandbox that includes and long and storied history of Hell itself was just asking for fun. Again, the signature Greg Pak depth was on display almost immediately, pulling bits and pieces from many different representations of the infernal pit and weaving them into this brand new narrative placing hell itself very firmly on Earthly soil. Though the how and why are very much still a mystery, and a compelling enough one to make me want to read more.
Newcomer Tony Parker also does not disappoint as his Brian Hitch meets Frank Quietly artistic style proves to be the perfect match for the widescreen, cinematic feel of the book. Being able to provide just as much detail to the characters and facial structures as is given to the sprawling backgrounds and highly stylized locales is a true gift, and is an area where even the two aforementioned artists have been known to occasionally slip up on. His pencils are both clean in places yet still have this erratic, almost primal style to them that fits the otherworldly scenario of a Hell on Earth to a T.
Overall, while the concept of a “jailbreak from Hell” story seems a bit direct and plain, its clear that Pak and Parker will be bringing us a story with immense depth of character, an incredibly stylized take on the traditional jailbreak narrative and absolutely gorgeous art. All of that combined makes this book one to watch in 2012!
Final Verdict: 9.0 – Buy