Review by Holly von Winckel
Driver for the Dead #3
Driver for the Dead #3 is a super fast read, which speaks to an engaging story. Visually, it is worth going back a couple of times to really soak in the graphics. At a few points, I almost felt like I was looking at the storyboard for a film, though. I could almost taste the treatment … ALABASTER HAS A CONVERSATION WITH THE WEIRD LADY WHO PUTS HIM IN A VISION TRANCE. LEARNING THAT HE IS AN INCARNATION OF THE FERRYMAN ON THE RIVER STYX REINFORCES HIS RESOLVE AS HE DEPARTS TO CONFRONT THE LOUP GAROUX … and so on. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of it, but somehow there was a distance between the story and the characters. The story was vibrant, the characters were a bit flat, lacking in dynamism. Perhaps there was too much archetype at play.
Nonetheless, Driver #3 was a satisfying wind up of the story. The evil was thwarted, spines were tingled, some foreshadowed moments were delivered. Oh, and Moses Freeman got delivered to his final resting place without having been dismembered and partially consumed by Fallow and his incredibly unpleasant posse. I found the Alabaster / Marissa hook-up to be a little trite, but, in fiction, it is virtually unheard of for attractive young major characters to not hook up in a happy-ending situation. It might even be a rule these days.
For folks who are into sinister art, Driver for the Dead #3 is, like the rest of the Driver series, a super source of dark and rich images. The visuals are rendered in a fairly painterly style, and given a patina as though most scenes are viewed through a dirty window. This can be distracting on occasion. Readers should probably not focus on the streaky-looking texture as much as I found myself doing, but if that is what creates the grim and menacing mood of the series, I won’t complain too much about that.
Radical’s creative team really rocked the house on this one. It is hard to imagine anyone enjoying one of the Driver for the Dead issues and not wanting to read the other two. #3 is good stuff, the kind of comic a person will re-read, the kind that might not come back if you loan it out. Don’t loan it out; buy a copy for your friend. She deserves it. Heck, get her the whole series. If you give her one, she’ll only want to borrow the other two. If we’re lucky, there will be other series set in this world. Fallow’s story would be a treat, I bet, as well as the adventures of Moses Freeman.
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