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Death Head #3

    Ian Jane

  • Death Head #3

    Death Head #3
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: September 16th, 2015.
    Written by: Zack Keller, Nick Keller
    Illustrated by: Joanna Estep
    Purchase From Amazon

    Picking up where the first two issues left off, we head into the Burton home where Bee quickly crams the mask he's started obsessing over into his backpack. Niles and Justine make breakfast for the kids and afterward Niles tells his pregnant wife that work will be good for him - it'll help him keep his mind off of their vacation! He heads off to the office, but takes a turn off of the highway. Justine doesn't know it but he's heading back towards to the park.

    Meanwhile, Bee catches up to Lena and tells her about the mask, about what he saw when he put it on. She tries it on herself but sees nothing. Niles winds up at the lighthouse near the park, wondering if the keeper will have any info that will help him figure out what the heck is going on. At school, Maggie surprises Lena by kissing her and the other girls see this - and promptly make fun of them. Maggie tells them off and Lena is impressed.

    Bee heads to the bridge and throws rocks into the water below. No one believes he saw what he saw except Rosie, who just so happens to appear. They talk… and then she gets hit by a freight truck. Bee flips out, until he realizes she basically puts herself back together again and it's then that he learns what we've known all along - she's a ghost. Then she takes him flying.

    Meanwhile, Justine is at work hoping to inoculate the monkeys she needs to deal with but one of the chimps starts freaking out - something spooked her and the others. And then Niles meets the lighthouse keeper…

    Zack and Nick Keller end this one with a bang, the kind that means you'll be back for issue four come Hell or high water. Niles' visit ends in a way that you probably won't see coming while the other story threads - Lena's troubles, Bee's relationship with Rosie and the oddities that Justine is experiencing at work - all start to lead towards one conclusion. The kind of conclusion that seems inevitable. At the same time, as we get closer to figuring out just what exactly the deal is here, there are other layers of mystery revealed that keep things interesting and suspenseful. We wind up with a few different subgenres of horror sort of colliding here - we get the family curse, the small town secrets and the 'only the kid can see the ghost' ideas all at play, but merging in a surprisingly effective manner.

    Joanna Estep's art is strong here, maybe better than in the first two issues. There seems to be a bit more detail here and the layouts are really eye catching. The characters are well drawn and their expressions are illustrated in such a way that you can feel their reactions to certain events. This doesn't just apply to moments where the characters experience fear, but also genuine surprise (the kiss being a good example - Lena looks shocked, but hardly appalled, when Maggie plants one on her). Little details like that help to keep this visually appealing and interesting to look at.

    Three issues in and so far so good. Here's hoping the creative team keep the momentum going!

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