Action Lab: Danger Zone 2015
Written by Christopher Mills
Illustrated by Rick Burchett
There are a lot of people out there today afraid to step out of the shadow of the big companies and don’t realize that books like this exist. Comics have a long and storied history that goes far beyond superheroes and actually go back to Pulp classics. Those black and white crime stories that thrilled audiences with the near death experiences and ruthless crime bosses that killed wantonly. This story while only two issues beautifully demonstrates why that kind of storytelling needs to keep being seen.
Gravedigger has been set-up for a murder he didn’t commit and he’s been on the run ever since. Sheila found him, rescued him and then naturally slept with him and of course finally sells him out. All’s fair in love, war and money after all and she does have her own reason for doing this and that was explained last issue.
This isn’t a story about a many with special abilities just a man used to operating on the wrong side of the law and has picked up more than his fair share of tricks along the way. You don’t live to be his age without being resourceful. I think that Christopher manages to really expertly show us a man with mad skills and a brain that never stops working. With everything that’s been going on he’s been suspicious about everyone’s motivations and that has kept him alive.
I like that we see Gravedigger try to use the same tactic twice in a row with the same group of people in showing his escape. That it doesn’t work with one of them was great and we see Gravedigger finally get captured. Taken to an out of the way place in the swamps where a body won’t be so easily found and if it is well the local wildlife will leave it hard to identify. Mister Castellari wants him dead after the affair with his daughter ended up in her grisly death but things are never what they appear to be.
With revelations and understanding dawning things spiral out of control and how this is going to end really is an out of control airboat ride through the Florida swamps.
Rick’s interiors are sublime! The black and white with shades of gray make this one of those stories that fits perfectly with the material while still giving the reader such intense detail. The folks we see, the handsomely rugged McCrae to the squirrely Dom not to mention the backgrounds it all comes together to bring this story to life.
Action Lab: Danger Zone knows how to keep their pulse on what the market needs. This throwback to the early days of what we now call comics not only reminds us that incredible stories don’t need superheroes but that the smaller companies have the talent it takes to bring us some of the most spectacular offerings.