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Death Head #6

    Ian Jane

  • Death Head #6

    Death Head #6
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: February 24th, 2016.
    Written by: Zach Keller, Nick Keller
    Illustrated by: Joanna Estep
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    The first five issues have a built up to this, the big finish of this six issue mini-series from Zach and Nick Keller and Joanna Estep. The thing in the mask is in the house, Justine is trying to stop it from getting to Bee and Maggie, the later of whom is holding the body of her girlfriend Lena, bloody and maybe not even alive anymore, in her arms.

    Just as the masked thing tries to bring the three of them through the portal in its coffin, Niles comes out of said coffin and holds a knife to the cloaked murderer. Here, things take a strange twist as the thing in the mask and the cloak points at Niles and tells he and his family that this is about more than them, this is about the fate of humanity itself. From there, more doctors, those things in the masks and the cloaks, come out of the coffin portal, intending to kill Niles and his family 'so that others may live.'

    The doctors bring Niles and the rest back to their operating room, the one that was first revealed in the beginning of the series, where one of the doctors explains to Niles, bound to a filthy operating table, what it is that they're trying to do - they need to find a way to break the curse. When they took that mask way back when, they set back their work by an innumerable amount, and that the evil they were trying to contain now lives inside the Burton family.

    It seems that the evil spreads by touch… and now what the doctors have been doing? It's starting to make a twisted sort of sense. Only fire destroys the curse.

    This is going to get gory and crazy before it's all over.

    The series ends well. You think that everything is going to be all wrapped up nice and neat, maybe with a pretty little bow on top, but no, the Kellers' story takes a couple of interesting twists before it calls it over and done with that you probably won't see coming. The family dynamic that exists between the Burtons in this issue is stronger than what we've seen in the past but that makes sense given the events that led up to this finale, and the script plays off of that in interesting ways. It makes the family likeable, it makes you get behind them here, it makes you want them to make it out of this situation alive and wholly intact. Occasional, albeit minor, injections of humor do seem just a bit out of place when it hits the fan as it does here but that's a tiny complaint - all in all this wraps things up really well.

    Joanna Estep's artwork works well here. The panel layouts are sufficiently dramatic and there's a nice sense of movement during the more action packed pages. Kelly Fitzpatrick's colors help to bring it all to life, and that cover by E.M. Gist? Fantastic stuff. The letters pages indicate that, not so surprisingly, a trade paperback is forth coming and at this point, it might make more sense to wait for that than to try and get caught up but regardless of how you do it, give Death Head a shot if you're into horror.

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