Review by Alex of Mass Movement Magazine
Driver for the Dead (Radical Comics)
With the popularity of the shuffling, walking, flying and hairy undead higher than ever before, with films, books, mainstream television adaptations, computer games and numerous comic series leaping forward to capitalise on the market it would be easy to write off Driver for the Dead as a bandwagon hitch hiker. However, this is a fantastic series, taking huge leaps with a mixture of everyday hero vs. the shambling, supernatural undead. Our hero is a renovation of Constantine, the understandably grave (pardon the pun, it’s also his surname) Alabaster Graves, the eponymous ‘Driver,’ in his sleek car ‘Black Betty.’ His job is to drive the corpses of the freshly dead to their places of rest, and when I say freshly dead, I mean the freshly dead who may not like this idea and make their dissatisfaction known violently. His back story is rather puzzling, the jump from war veteran transporting coffins back in to the U.S. to an occult warrior fighting down the vampires and werewolves of New Orleans is illogical, but maybe there’s more to it than that, perhaps being saved for future issues. The story served up here, though, is a Neil Gaiman-matching creep-fest with heart, a typical job for Graves –picking up a dead voodoo priest victim of an unsuccessful exorcism- is spoiled when a necromancer sets his sights on intercepting the body. With artwork suitably heavy and air brushed to get the most of the darkened and atmosphere-soaked frames, this is a piece of work I’d like to see more of. With a story which could have become a blood soaked zombie kill fest (something that Walking Dead has a tendency to do),
this maintains its curiosity with the rituals of tarot reading, voodoo priests and all manners of old magic and swamp life. Well worth picking up.
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