It has been far too long since I talked about The Dead, but fear not this afterlife mystery thriller/horror title from James Maddox and Jen Hickman has continued on through and is now on Comixology’s Submit. This third issue collects chapters five through seven of the online comic in case like me you’ve now read a mixture of both the web-comic and digital issues. Also if you’re like me then you re-read the entire series in issue form as well. Now I was left on quite the cliffhanger with the last issue/chapter so I couldn’t wait to dig into this issue. Took me a bit longer to get to the review, but here we are (see the part where I said I re-read the entire story).
Chapter five is all about the monster hunting and capturing. We see a bit of the zoo first, but then it’s off to see Alex and the Old Coats trying to capture two big ones. It’s a mess and so Alex decides he needs better assistance otherwise the Old Coats are going to be extinct. Alex goes to a little girl that looks to be playing war. It’s a strange room as it seems to have an infinite amount of soldiers attacking. Attacking what? It doesn’t matter. Kate, the little girl, isn’t the only one that Alex is there for either.
Jumping to chapter six we check in with Sam and his group. This is a great scene because we finally hear from Arthur as he tells a cryptic story that no one understands, but clearly plays into the overall mystery of the house and story. He also says the God Room is bunk.
I can’t get enough of this world. Maddox makes it creepy and strange, but also inviting. I want to explore this dangerous world, but I also want answers to the mystery. Maddox dangles the carrot the entire issue and I can’t help but try and take a bite. What I think is very impressive about his writing for The Dead is the fact that the characters all have their own unique voices. There are a lot of characters, but they really are their own characters. Sure the Old Coats are basically “Red Shirts”, but everyone else adds something to the mix with their personalities.
Hickman really steals the show with her artwork. She’s been very consistent on the series, but as the story goes on her art is getting better and better. Each panel is picking up more and more detail making the series a joy to look at. What stood out to me about these chapters was how bright they were. The world is dangerous and scary, but Hickman almost makes it look appealing. In doing so it plays to the false sense of security that Devi is building in her room. I’m looking forward to the moment that it all goes terribly wrong.
To be honest I can’t follow this series as a web-comic. The story makes me too impatient and then I just get frustrated with my own impatience… that and I just want to read more now! The digital comics though are a great way to digest the material and the creative team collects the perfect amount of chapters. The problem is now I’m caught up and really want to read more of this world. Why someone like Image, IDW or Dark Horse hasn’t picked this series up is beyond me. Its leaps and bounds better than 90% of the comics published monthly. Again, three bucks catches you up on the entire story and trust me, you’ll be pissed that you couldn’t give it a fourth dollar.
Writer: James Maddox Artist: Jen Hickman Price: $0.99 Release Date: 6/11/14 Comixology Link