Death Be Damned

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate -

Re­venge punc­tu­ates the West­ern: whether it’s land or love, there’s al­ways some­thing to fight over and some­one to avenge. Fit­ting, then, that Death Be Damned opens on a hot rush of blood, as Mi­randa Coler wakes up one day to find her family mur­dered. With­out any ex­pla­na­tion, our only an­chor is Mi­randa’s steely prom­ise of vengeance.

This fix­a­tion on the flesh is brought to life by Hannah Chris­ten­son’s earthy art style. There is noth­ing del­i­cate or wispy about Death Be Damned; faces drip from the page like can­dle wax and land­scapes look as rough as hemp. In a su­per­nat­u­ral twist, ev­ery time Mi­randa dies she is brought back to life, and the tran­si­tion be­tween life and death is sig­ni­fied when colourist Juan Useche’s pal­ette of burnt orange and brown blots into icy blue.

Vis­ual flour­ishes aside, it’s re­fresh­ing to see a woman take charge in a tra­di­tion­ally mas­cu­line nar­ra­tive. In tales of the Old West, women are usu­ally one of three things: damsels, dead or wives who stay at home while their men be­come he­roes. Mi­randa takes on this mythic role, storm­ing across the comic like a phan­tom of steel and bone in a ruf­fled dress.

The book is scin­til­lat­ing, but at times it fails to con­nect. With no real win­dow into who Mi­randa is, it’s dif­fi­cult to care for her or sym­pa­thise with her plight. The plot also feels slip­pery, shift­ing be­tween clas­sic West­ern ter­ri­tory and zom­bie hor­ror with no real fo­cus. This cre­ates a tan­gled story, but it’s still a bold foundation for fu­ture is­sues. Kim­ber­ley Mar­gaux

A down-to-earth woman will ex­pe­ri­ence the un­earthly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.