If I told you a comic featured a Plague Doctor, would you want to read it? Probably yes, because you’re awesome. It was that simple premise that sucked me in to Death Head, and that was how I ended up reading a comic about a couple who inadvertently get themselves into a world of trouble on their “babymoon” while their two older kids separately find themselves in interesting/terrifying circumstances back at home.
Issue #1 doesn’t deliver a complex story. That’s not what first issues are for. They are to lay the groundwork for the complex story, to underpin everything, provide a secure groundwork, and then lay enough of a story down to confuse us, to intrigue us, to bring us back for more.
In that respect, Death Head #1 is brilliant. I am curious about Niles and Justine, and what their relationship is with the kids in the book (seriously, I only knew they were supposed to be Niles and Justine’s kids because that’s what the preview told me…what the hell kind of parents are they?). After finding themselves in an abandoned town, Niles and Justine end up in a crematorium and their son ends up in a sewer, kind of like in Stephen King’s It. It honestly doesn’t take much to get my skin to crawl, but this really did it. Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned story about things not turning out according to plan? I guess me, because I’ve still got the creepy crawlies about this.
I’m hoping that issue #2 will give us more information about the family, including why the kids seem to go to different schools, and the characters in general, because I don’t have a good sense of them yet. But as a set up for a delightfully creepy horror story, this issue was a success. I give it 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
Writers: Zack Keller and Nick Keller
Artist: Joanna Estep
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: John J. Hill
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: July 15, 2015