From Vault Comics, with Mark Russell’s words, Benjamin Tiesma’s art, Vladimir Popov’s Colors, and Andworld’s letters
What would you do if the future was promised to be bright and beautiful, but in reality, nothing really changed- even hundreds of years later? Sounds a little too real and possible, especially in today’s reality, right? Deadbox takes the idea of a dystopian world and puts a new twist on it; what if everyone else still loves the way the world is and you’re one of the few that can see, or feel, any of the consequences from it?
Oh look, another story about a dead world! But wait- unlike many other dystopias where we see the physical Earth itself dying or ceasing to exist, here, it seems society is dead; everyone is stuck in the same loop of norms, even after hundreds of years. The same gun-wielding “this is my land” Americans roam the streets and hold all the power, while those in need suffer in the shadows in the silence. Yes, Mark Russell does NOT shy away from the social/political commentary, much like in another line of his called Not All Robots, so if that is something that irks you… you can step out now, but you’re also probably one of the ones that needs to read this line the most.
The narration really makes this issue for me, actually. From the little I’ve read from Russell so far, one of his greatest strengths seems to be narration that feels real and organic, even more so than the dialogue. While his dialogue is still solid, the narration is where Russell truly is able to build his world and, I must say, if Russell keeps creating stories and worlds like this and Not All Robots, he could be a future major world builder for one or both of the “big two” one day, if he so choose.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi and horror tales with a huge edge of realism and a focus on the human psyche and human emotions, this is a MUST read for you. Fans of The Blue Flame, I’m talking to you, because while that line is great in its own right, none of those issues have hit as hard for me as this issue of Deadbox did. The end of this issue comes with a shocking last page, not because it’s unpredictable as to what’s happening, but because the image Tiesma created is so mentally disturbing and jarring- as it needs to be. It’s giant, it’s inescapable, and it’s the reality that no one wants to see but needs to see. Throw in Popov’s colors and… well, they capture just how… dead a moment can be. How dead one becomes when we try to put everything in a box and lock it away.
See what I did there? I know, cheesy, but I promise when you read this issue you’ll see EXACTLY what I’m saying!
Wrapping it all in a glorious bow, letters from Andworld Design are fantastic, and the differentiation between narration, dialogue, and attention lettering helps the issue flow beyond belief so you don’t miss a single feeling or moment throughout the issue!
Deadbox is a book that will make you feel anything but dead, even in a world that seems like it's- and, well, I guess IS, dying. With almost every page punching you in the gut each time, it’s a book that will literally mix up your insides- and that’s exactly what I want from a book like this.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi gives this:
4 out of 5 finger guns
(because I’m bi)
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