Home News From The 'Verse ‘Resurrection…’ Review: The Grievous Journey Of Ichabod Azrael (And The Dead Left...


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Review: THE GRIEVOUS JOURNEY OF ICHABOD AZRAEL (AND THE DEAD LEFT IN HIS WAKE) – U.S. EDITION #1

  • Story by: Rob Williams

  • Art / Cover by: Dom Reardon

  • Diamond ID: USF012A

  • Published: February 2015

  • £2.99 ($3.99)

His name is Ichabod and he was a killer. But his death was only the beginning of his story…

From writer Rob Williams (The Royals: Masters of War) and artist Dom Reardon (The Ten Seconders), comes a tale of vengeance and redemption that will shake the very gates of the afterlife itself. Ichabod Azrael was the deadliest, meanest outlaw the Old West ever spat out – but his murder at the hands of hired guns takes him on a journey through the underworld as he desperately tries to return to the land of the living, and his true love Zoe, haunted by the dead he left in his wake…

image - 2000AD (Ichabod Azrael #1, cover)


Review by: James Bridcut

I will start by saying that prior to reading this comic, I had never heard of this character. In fact, if I was being entirely truthful, I have never been particularly familiar with 2000AD‘s stable of characters/comics outside the more widely-known likes of  Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog et al. So, at the suggestion of An Englishman In San Diego, I was looking forward to broadening my horizons and dipping my toe in the waters of one of the UKs most revered comic publisher and these American editions of UK story arcs give me the ideal way to do just that. I’m always on the lookout for new comics to add to my already substantial monthly standing order so when the chance arrived to review the first issue of an unfamiliar (to me), yet established comic book, I jumped at it.

The character of Ichabod Azreal was created by Rob Williams and Dom Reardon and first appeared in issue 1677 of 2000AD in March 2010 and the initial story, The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (and The Dead Left in his Wake), ran for twelve issues. This intended 6 issue run seems to be a retelling/reboot of the initial story arc remade for the American market – i.e. stand-alone comic arcs that are not imbedded in a weekly anthology.

The story follows Ichabod, a notorious gunslinger who has a penchant for death and destruction. However, his bloody past catches up with him when he is hunted down and killed by a posse. However death seems to be just the beginning as he vows to blast his way out of the afterlife and return to the land of the living and to the woman he loves…

The first thing you’ll notice is Dom Reardon’s distinctive art style. I felt a definite Mike Mignola vibe to the art – simple and stark yet unique and easy on the eye. I personally don’t like overly simplistic art (Joe Harris’ work on X-Files Season 10 comic, to pick a name at random) or artwork that is excessively ‘busy’ (see: Andrea Sorrentino’s work on the 2010 God of War comic) as I find both can impede my ability to follow or get immerged into the story. The fact that it reminded of Mignola, one of my favourite artists, meant I took to the comic almost immediately.

The story has a constant, poetic-esque third person narrative that weaves through the book linking the panels set in the living and those following Ichabod in the afterlife. This is complimented by a nice visual cue that sees the sequences set in the afterlife being colourless/black and white and the sequences set in the living world being in full colour. I thought this gave the book a nice visual twist and made is easy for the reader to differentiate between the two planes of existence the characters inhabit.

Similar to Mignola’s gothic universe the book has an appealing Lovecraftian vibe that sees the titular character battle demons, monsters and seemingly the Horsemen of the Apocalypse all in this very first issue. The intriguing story blended with a Walking Dead colour palette and Mignola flavoured art style means I thoroughly enjoyed this first issue of the retooling of Ichabod Azrael and I look forward to the 2nd issue scheduled for release at the end of March.


If I’m going to supply the book a score, let’s give it a highly respectable: 7/10

 

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