Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard
Release Date: 12th December 2018
Michael Blackburn and Grace Moody are almost out of Second Stage and headed towards The Drum. Populated by the survivors of a failed attempt to break away from the control of The President, The Drum might just be the least safe place our heroes have passed through so far. Having guessed their ultimate destination The Chief is now leading the pursuit, and is hot on their heels while preparing to lay a trap for them.
Last month I was quite harsh about Cemetery Beach, and I think, with hindsight that I may have done so unfairly. What I lost sight of is that this is not From Hell or The Sandman or Watchmen. What it is is a riotous, joyous explosion that shows absolutely no sign of stopping. There hasn’t been masses of character development yet, and the continuous gunfire and racing through the sky and explosions are a little dizzying, but there’s definitely a plot there and I think once we get this first mad dash out of the way I’m going to be glad I’ve hung on to this drunken mechanical bull ride of a series.
Whilst I’ve stated above that there’s not a lot of character development, what we do have is great chemistry and sense of humour between Blackburn and Moody that wouldn’t be amiss in any 1980s action buddy movie. The Chief is another great addition to the cast as the perfect archetypal bad guy who I can guarantee you speaks with a British accent.
The star of this particular show, as always, is Jason Howard. This man brings more action and dynamic movement to a single frame than I previously thought possible. The characters are depicted brilliantly, and Howard isn’t afraid to do ugly, and do it really well. The President, for example could easily be a depiction of Baron Harkonnen in his hideous corpulence. Howard’s attention to detail in the buildings and scenery is refreshing and the vehicles and machines he has dreamt up are fantastic. Howard’s world is very real and dark and broken and chaotic and it’s fantastic.
So, with apologies to Messrs Ellis and Howard for last month’s lack of faith, I’d heartily recommend grabbing a copy of the latest issue of Cemetery Beach and just enjoying the ride!
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek