Justin Jordan is no stranger to stories centering on damaged men. The Luther Strode series is how I came to know him, so, Dead Body Road seems exactly right for a follow-up. The first issue introduced us to Gage, our vengeful anti-hero, a man on a warpath to honor his slain lover by eliminating every last one of her killers. Granted, more than likely, only one of our foul-mouthed robbers is her killer. But that doesn’t seem to slow Gage down one bit. This may be a tale we’ve heard before, one that we may know a different version of. I, for one, am not letting that dilute my enjoyment of just how great #1 was. Matteo Scalera has a penchant for movement and action (see his current work on Black Science) and Justin Jordan sets the table faster than a busboy on crystal meth during riblets month. In the last panels of the debut, Gage sets down the road to find the woman who is the key to his revenge.
Now enter Rachel. In issue #2 we meet the wife of the now deceased hacker who lead Gage to his cohorts and has the money that the rest of the thieves are after. Turns out Rachel is a survivor and a woman who knows how to play the angles and when to throw down. When faced with two thugs sent to track her down, she doesn’t go quietly. It is at this point that our two leads, both lovers seeking revenge, introduce themselves by saving the other’s life within a matter of seconds. Their stories are shared during a wonderfully-colored car ride, while still keeping in mind that neither of them really know the other person yet. Details are left out. I’m sure we’ll get to those. In the meantime, there’s the small issue of one Fletcher Cobb sitting in your hotel room. He might need tending to before we hash out any specifics, and from what I understand he is not a man to be trifled with.
Overall, this book never makes any attempts to establish itself as anything but action-packed. It is not heavy on exposition or character development, nor is it claiming to be anything other than a high-octane revenge story. If that last sentence doesn’t appeal to you, I could see how you might now like this book. For me, this is the pallet cleanser I need in between all of the highbrow books Image is currently publishing—a pallet cleanser that just so happens to be toting a pump-action shotgun behind the wheel of a hotrod.
What could have seemed rushed instead feels exactly as fast as it should be, considering the pace and tone of this book. Even when the characters aren’t in Gage’s “Fine Vintage Automobile,” the story and art come together to create a perpetual feeling of high speed. Add in Moreno Dinisio’s distinctly open and rich color scheme and you have yourself a book that just radiates momentum. Issue #3 can’t get here fast enough.
I give issue #2 a well-deserved 8.5 out of 10.
Mike Sains is a Staff Writer at Capeless Crusader. When he isn’t writing, he’s podcasting at various places online. When he isn’t podcasting, he’s collecting comic books, FunkoPop! figures, and vinyl records. You can hear him on Geek Girls, Nerd Boys, The Tower of Sour, and The Inverse Delirium, all available on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @MikeSains.