Dead Letters #1 (Boom!)

CREDIT: Boom! Studios

Rating: 4/5 – Don’t you hate it when you wake up not knowing where you are & how you got there?
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Dead Letters is the latest entry in the “guy wakes up and does not know who he is or how he got there” genre, and interestingly enough this came out on the same day as Image’s The Field that started with the same basic premise.  That said, the similarity ends there.  The protagonist of this story, Sam Winston, and where the story goes from the moment his eyes open is completely different.

What Christopher Sebela has created here is more of hard-edged crime story.  While Sam has amnesia, he remembers a lot of general knowledge; mostly stuff that is outside the law – like how much a handgun weighs when it’s loaded, how to jack a car, and using explosives.  He’s thrown quickly into a series of events that leads him to meeting Maia and it’s right around that time that we start to see that things are a bit…odd.  I can’t go into much more detail without spoiling the reveal that is core to this issue and to the series, so I’ll just leave it vague, because it’s the difference that I don’t want to specifically call out that makes the series worth reading.

Artist Chris Visions has a loose style that alternates between having very soft edges and a hard ink line defining the figures.   He’s using this technique of softer edges for reflections in a mirror, pictures, people in the background, etc. while the figures in the foreground and things we should be focusing on have the hard ink line definition and it does draw the eye to where he wants it to be.  It’s nicely done and the more I thought about it the more I’ve come to like it.  Visions art is stylized so it’s likely going to be something you either really dig or that you look at and think “What is this?”.  Fortunately, you can flip through the book and get that visceral reaction to the art one way or the other.

Don’t make the mistake of dismissing this based on the high-concept blurb.  Christopher Sebela has packed a lot of story packed into this issue and we’re just getting started.    The reveal on the last page means that #2 is going to be very interesting.  Sebela can go in a bunch of different directions based on this setup, I’m going to really enjoy seeing where the story takes us.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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