From Aspen Comics, Greg Pak and Tony Parker. Available at all good comic book shops on March 7th.
I have been lucky to know of Dead Man’s Run from the beginning. This story of one man, Sam, a cartographer, trying to free himself and his sister from hell quickly became an all time favorite. All of that said, nothing could have prepared me for this issue.
Issue two is where Dead Man’s Run elevates. The ideas in this issue change everything. Issues 0 and 1 laid down what seemed to be rules for this world. Issue 2 blows them away. Greg Pak isn’t messing around. No studio, no billion dollar company franchise owned characters. This is his own sandbox and if he wants to bend it, warp it, destroy only to rebuild then he is able to do so and the rest of us can only watch in awe.
Sam Tinker is trapped, he’s in trouble, death within hell is imminent. However, floors in hell don’t lead to another story in a building they lead to building another story. Sam is now in another prison, another world and the story of Dead Man’s Run expands. The companions (I hesitate to use the word friend for this series), the monsters and most of all the golden reveal.
The events of this issue really show how great the art is from Tony Parker. From the confining prison to the expansive wilderness, each location feels different. New characters are introduced and from the start they look unique. Even when in the background, it is easy to tell who they are and to know that they will matter.
This is a fast paced, unpredictable comic and I’ll go on record to say only the third comic I’ve read in 25 years to shock me. I can’t spoil it, its too amazing. But I will say this, there is a page turn and something huge is on panel, something that turns Dead Man’s Run from a story about Sam to a story about a much larger universe.