Muscle memory is a funny thing. Things we don’t remember ever doing before suddenly come easy to us when we try them. We get a flash of doing the exact same thing at some point in the past. The action has spurred the memory to be recalled. When amnesiac Sam gets a gun in his hand he knows exactly how to use it. Then a host of skills come flooding back. Unfortunately for him those skills seem to point to the fact that he is not one of the good guys.
Sam wakes up in a ratty hotel room with no memory of who he is. He doesn’t even know his name until he answers the ringing phone that woke him. The voice on the line tells him, “They’re coming Sam. You’d better start running.” Sam has no idea who “they” are but his instincts take over and he gets the hell out. He’s increasingly comfortable running, fighting and shooting. He chooses not to think too hard about why that is. Unfortunately they do catch up with him. That’s when things get weird.
I am head over heels in love with Dead Letters. I can’t put my finger on what makes it so great. It just all works perfectly. I love the way I felt as lost and disjointed as Sam did when he wakes up with no memory and how unreal everything seems as he starts to feel comfortable in the most dangerous of situations. The pieces came together for me right along with Sam. The revelation at the end isn’t a surprise but only because the story had led you there step by step, if you’re paying attention. It wasn’t the story I was expecting when I started it but I loved it all the more for the story it turned out to be.
The art is gritty and colorful. It definitely lends itself to the surreal feel of the whole situation. The dialogue is engaging and Sam’s narration helps keep you anchored in the story. There’s nothing I love more than a writer who tosses me the clues I need to unveil the ending as we go. Excellent plotting and very solid writing from start to finish.
I’m giving Dead Letters 5 out of 5 stars. I was not expecting to love this but it absolutely had me hooked from page one. A must read.
Dead Letters #1
Writer: Sebela, Christopher
Artist: Visions, Chris
Cover Artist: Visions, Chris
On Sale: April 02, 2014
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Diamond Id: FEB141035