By Justin Jordan, Matteo Scalera & Moreno Dinisio
Justin Jordan (Green Lantern: New Guardians, Superboy, The Strange Talent/Legend of Luthor Strode) has been on a roll of late and anticipation is high for his new creator owned series with Matteo Scalera (Black Science, Secret Avengers) from Image Comics. Dead Body Road, as you might imagine from the title, has a lot of dead bodies; even in this first issue.
Jordan has a talent (no pun intended) for writing some brutal scenes and stories—just look at his Luthor Strode series with the mega-talented Tradd Moore—and this starts off along the same lines. Now, thus far Dead Body Road doesn’t really seem like a new concept: man’s wife is killed, for one reason or another, and it sends him on a murderous rampage with nothing but vengeance in mind. Behind that, however, it appears that Jordan is crafting something else. This is not a comic to take at face value as a simply shoot ‘em up vengeance series. Instead, it looks like Jordan is laying the ground work for something much bigger than that and we’ll undoubtedly get more into that as we get into the meaty parts of this first arc.
For his part, Scalera shines. After seeing what he can do in Black Science with Rick Remender and Dean White, the bar for his art is set high—not that his work wasn’t already held to a high standard. With Dead Body Road, Scalera continues to impress with great movement and interesting character designs. Some pages seem to almost channel Sean Murphy/Punk Rock Jesus, if you’re looking for a comparison. For the most part, his panel layouts are rather straightforward, maybe compared to Black Science since that’s still so fresh, but it works with the story that Jordan is crafting. Either way, Scalera’s style is present while being a completely different tone and look from his other current series which speaks to the skill and ability to adapt accordingly. Insane talent from Mr. Scalera.
Dead Body Road, while on the surface doesn’t seem like a new concept, has some major potential down the line. Both Jordan and Scalera are big talents in the comic world and once you get through this first issue, which is still good if you didn’t really get that in the above babble, you’re going to be in for a good series. Trust in these two and Image, and it’s a safe bet you’ll end up adding another great Image series to your list.