Reddin is too long for its own good. The beginning of the story is confusing and really does nothing for the overall story. It’s an attempt at showing you what’s to come with the story, but the scene isn’t interesting enough on its own to really hook you in. After the opening we meet two men, Kirkwood and Driver. They’re bounty hunters of sorts and have become relatively famous due to their track record. After taking a moment to rest they head out on another task, this time to rescue a woman captured by what turns out to be a cult. They go in guns blazing and shit goes south. Here’s where the twist of the series comes in. It was a demonic summoning in a mine shaft and when everything goes fubar Driver finds himself trapped inside… with the demon. They make a pact, Driver gets his revenge on his partner for abandoning him and the demon gets his partner’s body because Driver’s is jacked up. Years go by for Driver until the inevitable showdown.
The concept is great. It’s the years in-between that are the weakest part of the story. That and the timeline. We’re never given a clear indicator of how long Driver was in the mine. If he got out shortly after it seems like he should have been able to catch Kirkwood rather quickly, but instead he chases his ghost.
What was good, was the lore of Kirkwood causing problems for Driver. That’s what he ends up chasing more than the man himself, but the point is lost on us because we spend so many years with Driver. I did enjoy his decent into madness because of the demon, but it too wears thin as the demon becomes a broken record bugging Driver to find his partner so that they can both move on.
Overall the writing is okay. It could be tighter and if it was the issue would be pretty damn great. As it is, it’s a solid western with a supernatural twist that didn’t rely on the typical tropes of the genre. The dialogue is stiff at points, and you almost wish the demon wouldn’t interact with Driver so much. There are some plot holes. One of which I pointed out, but a few others that don’t exactly click with the story.
The art is solid. I found the layouts and panel choices during the opening to be strange, but everything after that is a good fit for the story and world. The supernatural elements could have been a little sharper and had more imagination, but it didn’t kill the story. The action was intense and pretty dynamic compared to the rest of the story. It stood out in a good way.
Overall I think this one-shot is successful in what it sets out to do and that’s to tell a supernatural revenge story with a western setting. It’s not perfect and could have been a tighter project, but it’s entertaining if you like any of the three things it’s going for.
Reddin Writers: Matt Fitch & C.S. Baker Artist: Conor Boyle Colorist: Greg Menzie Publisher: Dead Canary Comics Price: $ Format: One-Shot; Print Website