31st Jan2013

‘Death Springs #1’ Review

by Jack Kirby

Written by Brady Sullivan | Pencil/inks by JC Grande | Colours by Jessie Alley | Letters by Fred C. Stresing

I’ve been working on my comic-reading this year, so I was more than happy to read the first issue of Death Springs when asked. Death Springs is a western set comic with some pleasing cross-genre horror bleeding into the narrative too. In the first issue, we meet Jacob, sheriff of a small frontier town and his brother and deputy Johnny. After a run in with some former-friends now turned outlaw, they find their small town threatened when the bad guys seek supernatural assistance in healing their injured accomplice.

The artwork of Death Springs is immediately impressive and suggests vibrancy and kinetic force. I liked the lively colour palette and the angular appearance of the characters was pleasing. There are also some very nice hats. The writing suggests promise, with the tropes of the genre being implemented tastefully. For these virtues, we have the creative team of writer Brady Sullivan, penciller JC Grande (Image’s Johnny Monster, Desperado’s Necessary Evil), colours by Jessie Alley and letters by Fred C. Stresing (AMC’s The Prisoner graphic novel).

It’d be easy to sneer at the hybridisation of genres and I’m the first to admit I’ve done so in the past (Cowboys and Aliens being an immediate and relevant example) but Sullivan’s implementation of the horror element feels organic and unforced and I was able to buy into the concept.

Best of all though the whole thing is free on the internet and updated weekly at deathsprings.com. After reading the first issue (the series is now well on the way with its second) I can say with some certainty that I’ll keeping up with Jacob and Johnny and their horrific western exploits in the weeks to come.


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