Sunday, 23 December 2012

Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead

Dick Turpin and his friend Tom King the Gentleman Thief are happily robbing a coach in the dead of night, after relieving the passengers of their valuables Turpin and Tom make good their escape but not before charming the young Lady Isabel by throwing back her jewels as they leave.
It’s during their escape that they come across a small village in the middle of nowhere one that seems deserted, until they come across one lone boy wondering slowly around (you can see where this is going). Very quickly the two thieves’ are surrounded by the undead and fighting for their lives and not even a shot to the head of one of these zombies stops them advancing, lucky for Turpin and Tom, Toms horse Chestnut becomes the focus of the horde of undead which buys the two thief's some time.
Just as all looks lost a priest appears with a flaming crossbow and offers the two highwaymen sanctuary in the church, while pointing out fire is the only true way to dispatch the walking undead that he knows of. Once inside the church the priest tells them the story of how the dead came to take over the village and that he is the only one left, its during this time that Turpin comes across a tomb that reveals the twist in the tale. It seems the priest is one of the undead but for reasons unknown still has all his faculties and doesn’t crave brains, Turpin decides to lure the undead into the church and once they are all in set fire to it with himself and the priest inside. Tom who has made his escape once everyone is inside ensures the doors cannot be opened again, while Turpin makes his escape by jumping through a window as the dead are all engulfed in flame and the undead are finally put to rest.

The book is produced by Time Bomb comics and written by Steve Tanner with art by Andrew Dodd, the story is an interesting twist on your standard zombie tale with the decision to pit Dick Turpin against the undead is simply genius. Its a black and white book which in some eyes may be a draw back but lets be honest it never hurt the Walking Dead comic did it, in fact I think that the fact its in black and white helps the book and helps convey the time period better.

If you like horror books or you’re a zombie fan and you are looking for something a bit different then give this book a try, they have a very good website and Facebook page and produce several books besides this one click the link to get on their website to have a look. Time Bomb Comics
I came across this book at the Thought Bubble comic convention and had quite a long chat with the writer Steve Tanner at the stand, who listened patiently as I told him of my family's supposed Turpin connection. As his eyes didn’t glaze over as most people’s do when I go into this family tale I decided to buy a few copies of his book, but to be honest he had me as soon as I saw the words Dick Turpin on the stand.

The follow up book to this one is Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague, I will be reviewing that book in the coming weeks but take it from me its one hell of a good read.

Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead book cover is the sole property of Time Bomb Comics and only used as an aid to this review, the cover will be removed if requested to do so.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

All Star Western #13

A white faced clown with green hair has killed a priest in Gotham City leaving him with a smile on his dead face, now this may sound kind of familiar but you would be wrong because this is the Gotham of the old west, and the killer clown is Jingles who apparently has alter boy issues.

Hex, Arkham and Tallulah are called in to help solve the murder where Arkham quickly establishes that the killer is connected to a drug recreated from Dr Jekyll's formula, the seeds of the Jekyll story line were set up in issue 12. Tallulah points out that the priest has been left with a clown like face which leads Hex to suggest the killer could be a clown, Tallulah then adds that Haly's circus is in town that would be a good place to start looking for a clown, its almost like reading an episode of Murder She Wrote.

 Switch to Haly's circus and Yanmei Tsen is in town and looking for the golden Dragons a Triad type gang who frequent Gotham's underworld, Yanmei origin was told in the backup story's of this books early run. Yanmei is quickly butting heads with the Dragons and holding her own until she becomes outnumbered, just when all looks lost Hex and his gang turn up to help her out and save her life. Not that she hangs around to thank them for it as she  quickly disappears into the night when the fight is over, I suspect that this is a set up meeting and we will be seeing more of Miss Tsen in issues to come.

Hex finds the circus owner Mr Haley (who would have thought) who tells them that several of the circus crew have gone missing of late including Jingles, who is one of the nicest kindhearted people you could ever meet (its always the quite ones).

All hell then breaks loose as Jingles enters the circus waving his chopper and firing a gun, throw on top of that the animal trainer who decides to let the tigers loose and Hex and his friends have their hands full. Now I don't know how many tigers Hex or Tallulah have seen in their lives, but they seem fairly calm as they rampage through the circus crowds. Tallilah even has time to utter ''Ah ain't getting eaten by no tiger'' as she is pounced on by one. and after introducing her shot gun to it looks fairly unscathed. As someone who has had cats (not tigers admittedly) I know the cuts a small a Tabby can give you if they are in the mood too, so been pounced on by a Tiger and coming up without a scratch is a bit of a stretch for me. 

Que the gripping finally as the gang are surrounded by people high on Jekyll juice (dose that sound wrong?), the final pages show Dr Jekyll's assistant going into a ships hold to find the good Doctor only to come face to face with Mr Hyde.

This is a fun book which may seem a strange thing to say about a book that has so much killing and violence in it, but any book that's set in Gotham and has a parody of the joker in it called Jingles isn't taking itself too seriously. The appearance of Yanmei Tsen seemed a little forced but didn't detract from the main story line, and I suspect her appearance will have more relevance in future issues.

If I have one complaint about the book its the backup story Tomahawk, it just wasn't a story I could get into which is a shame as the artwork looked fantastic. However, I don't buy the book for the back up story's, I buy it for good Jonah Hex story's and so far this book has delivered those in spades.