Writer/Artist/Creator: Josh Howard
Publisher: Viper Comics
I was somewhat hard on the first issue of Dead@17. I didnít like the pacing much, didnít like the lack of information much, and I didnít like the art much. Fortunately, I have warmed up to this title quite a bit now. Sometimes I feel the art is a bit too cartoonish and ďcutesyĒ for my tastes, but Iím sure Iíll get over it.
Josh Howard delivers a tale concerning a teenager named Asia who is killed the day before she turns 18 (hence the title; no, I donít think youíre stupid, Iím just sayingóokay, then, moving on). There is stuff going on in the background with other, less interesting characters involving the coming of demons and all that satanic IDM infused jazz. Itís not a bad story really, and it is obvious Asia will be some sort of Buffyesque demon-slayer. Sure, nothing all that original, but hey, I donít mind. Do you? Well, maybe you do. I donít, though.
One of my major complaints is that the characters arenít all that interesting. Dťjŗ vu, I know. Asia is pretty interesting; what with the relationship she has with her mother and friend, Davon. But thatís to be expected; she is the star of the show after all. Other dramtis personae come off as still and almost like near cardboard cut-outs at times. I do like the older guy whoís beating on the demon guy (who in this issue is overcome and taken prisoner himself). I wonder what his story is. Iíd like to know. Also, there are the demons, who are mildly amusing to me. Everything else is pretty standard fare for a story of this type. Itís not bad at all, though. I just wish it could be more.
However, Iím still willing to give this series more chances. Howard managed to capture my attention here. Thatís good. He gets a higher score for that and for providing some damn good dialogue. I keep saying (in the last Dead@17 review and now this one) that if you like the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you oughta dig this. Now that the demon general has arrived and Asia has her powers, the story should start gaining more momentum. It better, as I may not be as kind if I review issue #3.
All in all, a solid title so far, if lacking in characterisation a tad. It certainly is a nice change of pace from the usual ultra violent and grim zombie/horror/slasher comics Iíve read as of late.
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