By Bill Morrison, Keith Champagne, Carlos Badilla
“Once dead, but now revived, floating corpse, come alive!”
Going to have to start saying this to the slackers around the office…
Writer/artist Bill Morrison creates a story filled with mystery, corruption, and radio! The main character, John Dover, finds himself newly resurrected after a decade of floating in a big glass container at a public carnival type event. With issue #1 of Dead Vengeance, Morrison splits the story into two; the first half giving us a view of how Dover is responding to being back in the world, and the second part giving us some background, via one of Dover’s old friends, as to who he used to be and maybe how he found himself in such a predicament.
The second half stands out over the beginning, only because the fist part tries to over explain some situations rather than just letting them be. Having Dover constantly question why he’s remembering something became jarring, but the second half delivered a whole new story all together. With the second half we see Dover as a radio star trying to take down the local government. This created a lot of classic mobster type scenarios as the whole section was loaded with suspense and a sense of urgency. You find yourself instantly cheering for Dover to take down the corrupt Mayor. Morrison does a great job with the pacing in this second half.
On the artwork side of this issue Morrison is on pencils, alongside inker Keith Champagne, and colorist Carlos Badilla. A great (and rather eerie) scene is one that kicks off the story. Dover’s body is being preserved and presented as an oddity at this carnival. We first see him as a few kids are staring into the glass, one of them trying to convince the others that his dad once saw the floating man move. The green hue of the glass, and his skin later on, gives the impression that Dover is a zombie of some kind – which adds another layer of mystery to the story (is he really a zombie?!?). Dover’s section of the tent full of oddities has lights strung up, which put a glare on his body – showcasing how chiseled his face is, making you wonder how they’ve been feeding him all these years. Does the greenish water he’s in supply him with nutrients? Is it filled with multivitamins and minerals? (He definitely doesn’t look like he’s been eating his Flintstone vitamins).
Issue #1 of Dead Vengeance sets up a great story, filled with a lot of mystery and tension. Will Dover end up returning to the mission he started all those years ago? Exactly how far did he get before becoming a “Preserved Human Corpse”?