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Driver for the Dead is “Gorgeous”

Review by Wayne Hall

I did review the third issue of Driver For The Dead in my DC Comics And Beyond column, but because I enjoyed this comic so much, I wanted to revisit it. Be sure to look for an upcoming episode of the SFP-Now podcast in which I interview John Heffernan, creator and writer for this series.

Driver For The Dead. First thing, I want to thank Radical Books for sending me a copy of this trade to review. I’ve bragged on how this company does their compilations previously, but I want to say it again–Radical makes a trade worth saving. The art leaps off the page, and the size of the book is not reduced in any way.

Okay, for those who came in late, let’s get back to the description: “Alabaster Graves is the Driver for the Dead. He and his hearse, Black Betty, handle the more “lively” cases in New Orleans: vampires, angry ghosts, the not-quite-dead. Earlier tonight he was sent to retrieve the body of one of the town’s most famous and beloved spirit healers, Mose Freeman, with Mose’s granddaughter Marissa along for the ride.

“Unbeknownst to Graves, he was not the only one after Mose’s body. A necromancer named Fallow, along with his gang of undead toughs, was also in town murdering other supernatural practitioners and stealing their powers by attaching powerful pieces of their corpses to his own piecemeal, undead personage.

“Now, Fallow has injured Graves, stolen Mose’s body and kidnapped Marissa. Graves, rescued by a group of woodsmen and their mysterious leader, has discovered three things: who Marissa is, why she’s so important to Fallow… and the only possible way to save her: He must hunt down the fabled Loup Garoux, an ancient and deadly werewolf created by Marissa’s own grandmother, kill the creature, and steal the voodoo-cursed knitting needle from its chest. And that’s the easy part … .”

I’m not a big horror fan, but Heffernan’s concept and story, as well as Leonardo Manco‘s art, are gripping. Right away, we’re placed in an emotionally powerful situation dealing with the dead, and when Alabaster and his hearse show up, things get even more interesting.

Along the way, we encounter all kinds of voodoo and scary stuff, but the big payoff takes place in the last part of the story. It’s so good that I can’t even consider spoiling it here. Let’s just say that Heffernan and Manco know where they’re going, and there’s nothing better than a creative team that leads us to a surprising yet logical place. I loved it!

I don’t want to spoil my upcoming interview, but I talked with John about the fact that this comic just begs to be turned into a motion picture. You’ll want to hear his response to that!

Some extras that you’ll enjoy come at the back of the trade, including a written interview with Heffernan and Manco as well as a lot of cover and additional art. You’ll even get Leo’s Driver For The Dead musical playlist, which will provide the proper atmosphere when you read the story again, something I’m sure will happen–hey, I couldn’t wait to read it all in one gorgeous edition!

Buy this book! For one thing, you’ll love the cover. And it will make an excellent addition to your collection and scare your friends into craziness when they read it … if you let them!

Click here to go to this article at SciFiPulse.net!

Driver for the Dead Issue #1

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