Insane Comics 2016
Created & Written by Kelly Bender
Created & Penciled by Ryan Downing
Inked by Ivan Miranda
Coloured by Alan Bay
Lettered by Micah Myers
It was an age of magic and science, iron and steel. It was a new frontier, but old ways die hard. The "Devil's Cross" gang ruled this land and the law was helpless to stop them. But, there was a new threat coming for the "Devil's Cross" gang. An orphaned daughter of a murdered plains man and her name was - DEATH-RATTLER!
We open up this issue with Dawson’s life changing event. The man with the gold teeth and her first encounter with the poisonous snake. It’s a dream though or a nightmare memory and it serves the purpose of immediately giving the reader an understanding of this woman. When she wakes up we see she’s not alone and well Kelly doesn’t waste time getting things started.
This is more of an adult oriented book though while we don’t see nudity it’s very much a suggestive kind of thing. Little more risque if you will but it’s also effective for a woman of this time to use her feminine wiles as well as her smarts and skills to get the job done. We also see that there’s a lot of tech involved with this as well, so while not necessarily a steampunk version of the old west there’s a definite feel of the updated Wild Wild West movie, the original series was better by the way, going on. I do like that science and gadgets don’t have to mean steampunk so that’s a definite bonus here.
I could very well see this Death-Rattler being in cahoots with someone like Jonah Hex and that’s as high a compliment as I can give when dealing with a Western theme. I also like the way Kelly has decided to tell us about this young woman. Instead of using her own narration or more flashbacks at the scene of a murder her story is told by a third party. It’s a really smart tactic and one I wasn’t expecting but it does the job in more ways than one, as it also introduces us to another character in Gunner Texas Ranger.
With her trademark kill being noted there’s a price on her head now. Why she only kills members of the “Devil’s Cross” gang is unknown to them they decide that the law should catch up to her before the gang does. This also introduces us to a few more characters as the call goes out to those bounty hunters on Gunner’s list. From what we see it should be interesting to see what happens if either of these two contacted meet up with her. I mean c’mon though only killing these gang members isn’t a bad thing unless Gunner wants to recruit her.
It’s a solid well crafted story that wonderfully introduces us to this world. The mix of science that we see with the old west is definitely a major draw for me. This has been smartly and with forethought and it keeps me more impressed with Kelly’s writing.
While the art may come across as a little cheesecake pin-up cartoon style it doesn’t cross that lewd line and is on the verge of sexist instead of sexy. That’s quite a line to balance and it’s nice. I wouldn’t mind finding a way to make the clothes sexy without going for pin-up but hey i’m not the target audience heh.
Insane has a nice line of titles out that are worth reading. There’s a nice story here and it looks like it’s going to unfold in a very exciting way. You can find this on Comixology, Drivethru Comics or on their website.