Review: Grim Leaper #1

I can’t say that I’m taken by this story much. I’ve had some more time since talking about it on the podcast a week back and frankly, I’m not in love with it any more than I was then. In fact, I think I actually dislike the book now that I’ve had to read it twice to write this review. I really had to struggle through the second time and I don’t like comic books that I have to do that with. The story and first issue are easy to explain. Our main character is cursed to reappear in other people’s bodies when he dies. He’s on his thirteenth life and attending his own funeral, well to be honest he’s attending his twelfth deaths funeral since he’s burning through bodies like no ones business. While exiting the funeral a semi-truck does a nose dive and shoots its front tire and axel off at our main character decapitating him. He’s then thrown into a hallway of pictures that is limbo. We see our main characters actual form, but don’t learn his name just yet. Then he’s sucked into a picture of someone else and wakes up in their body.

Spoiler Warning: He’s on a game show; he says things that get him kicked off the dating show (which is obviously just there because it’s familiar and not because it’s actually on the air anymore). He figures out who his new identity is and heads to his favorite bar where he meets a woman with the same curse.

grimleaper01_coverI’m really hoping that the second issue gets better, but so far this issue only told me what the guys curse is and then instantly added someone else with the same one which took away the uniqueness of it. In addition to the fact that these two people in a small town are burning through bodies since they die like every few days. It’s just a hard concept not to analyze since it establishes so many rules of its own in this first issue. The writing was decent, but it wasn’t the quality I’ve come to expect from Wiebe. Perhaps I’m more taken by his serious stuff with a weird twist.

Something about the art just really bothers me. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone is bubbly and stands out from the background or even just their faces, but I couldn’t get into the art any more than I could the story. In general the art is very solid and actually good, but there was something about the style that wasn’t good. I just can’t nail it down, but it wasn’t for me. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who dig it and that’s cool, but it didn’t save the story for me like the art usually does.

This book is pretty generic. There are a ton of stories sourced for inspiration for it and the mystery surrounding the curse was talked about, but not established as an actual mystery. Right now there really is no mystery other than why these two people are killed so suddenly after taking over someone’s body, but it’s not very interesting. In fact the book just wasn’t interesting to me. I think a lot of people will still enjoy it though, but I wonder if the pacing continues as it did in this first issue just how long the series will last for.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Kurtis Wiebe Artist: Aluisio Santos Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 5/30/12