Publisher: Image Comics
Story: Justin Jordan
Pencils: Matteo Scalera
Colours: Moreno Dinisio
When creators attempt to do something rarely seen or somethig entirely unique, they are to be commended for being bold, but if they pull it off then they are due double the kudos. So it is with Dead Body Road #4 from Image Comics. Writer Justin Jordan’s revenge thriller moves up a gear in this issue, which is essentially a car chase sequence throughout the whole book.
Now I like to think of myself as something of a chase connoisseur. For my money ‘To Live And Die In LA’ contains the best car chase ever committed to film and as regards the oft-ignored foot-chase art-form, Point Break currently reins supreme. That said, chase sequences are something of a rarity in the comic book medium, so there’s a bit of weight on the creative team’s shoulders here to pull it off. Thankfully they do it with style, which is in large part due to the viscerally kinetic pencils from artist Matteo Scalera. Lots of cross page paneling, each perfectly weighted, nothing superfluous, allowing the full majesty of his talents to smack us in the face with Justin Jordan’s action packed script.
With our anti-hero Gage attempting to conduct an interrogation of one of the guys responsible for his wife’s death in the back of a van (driven by Rachel), being pursued by a biker gang and a certain Mr Big (who holds the key to his wife’s death) – bullets fly and people die. We get a little more exposition from Jordan in this respect, although to be honest, with only 2 issues left (in this six part series) it doesn’t feel like we’re far enough along the story arc to be entering the final stages. That said, as a piece of sequential art story-telling, this fourth issue is a tour-de-force for the creative team as a whole. Ballsy in it’s premise and cinematic in it’s execution, involving some truly brutal depictions of violence. One panel in particular where a certain bad guy meets a grisly fate, whilst horrific, really is a thing of beauty and demonstrates just how well colourist Moreno Dinisio works with Scalera’s pencils.
So the creative team can rest easy, as their wee experiment to try something different has paid off, in a beautifully brutal way. This is gonna be one of those books I hand my friends who don’t read comic books and I know it’ll be a case of ‘they used to not read comic books’. Superb.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.