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Review – Driver for the Dead #1

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Driver for the Dead #1 is fantastic.  I’m just going to outright say, this is a must buy for the week.  Written by John Heffernan and art by Leonard Manco the story has two parts.  The first part focuses on a voodoo priest and the second half a driver for a funeral home who does a bit more than just move dead bodies around.

Alabaster Graves is a driver for the dead. As a veteran of funeral homes, mortuaries, and coroners’ offices across the Deep South, Graves chauffeurs hundreds of bodies to their final resting places. But now, Alabaster must cover the distance from Shreveport to New Orleans to retrieve the remains of Mose Freeman, renown voodoo priest, with Freeman’s sultry granddaughter riding shotgun. What he doesn’t know is that he’s being pursued by a resurrectionist named Fallow – a necromancer who gets his power from stealing body parts… and for whom the corpse of Mose Freeman would be the ultimate prize.

The story, art, setting all comes together to set the perfect mood.  This is great synergy on the comic page.  The story takes place in a post-Katrina Louisiana.  A lot is played off of the state’s history of supernatural and ties to voodoo and hoodoo.

The first part focusing on Freeman just sets the tone and builds that supernatural tension, and in the end sets the standard that anything can happen.  The quick transition to the main focus on Alabaster gives us a picture of who our hero is quickly.

I’m not the biggest fan of horror as a genre, but this is a series I can get behind and can’t wait for the next issue to come.  It’s just so solid and entertaining.  If you haven’t picked up a comic from Radical Publishing, this is a great series to start with.

Plot: Heffernan masterfully sets the tone and pace and uses his setting to it’s full potential.  The characters are interesting, action entertaining and plot intriguing.  It may seem odd, but after reading this, my urge to check out Louisiana increased.  It’s a solid start to what could be a very entertaining series.  Rating: 9.5

Art: Manco’s art matches the writing and fits the mood perfectly.  The action, use of angles and panels is great and the coloring is top notch.  Everything fits when it comes to art, and what could of easily been a washed out in darkness series instead is washed in perfect browns and dead on drab colors.  Rating: 9.5

Overall: This is a series that the art, tone, story just work so well together.  You can tell the writer and artist are completely on the same page.  It’s so fantastic and a must buy for the week.  Overall rating: 9.5

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 56 pages    Price: $4.99    Release Date: 7/28/2010

Radical Publishing provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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