Hickman and Bodenheim’s The Dying and The Dead – Chaos McKenzie
I love the start of a new Hickman comic book. The confusion, the mystery, the sense of the cosmos on a tiny, personal stage. Each new work never fails to grab me in this way. The Dying and The Dead had some issues with scheduling, someone was sick or a rare india ink was unable to be secured for finishes, and the book almost slipped under the radar but rather than wait for the end of the first arc for the usual
Image affordable first volume, Image printed a smaller trade on the same week as the series’ return with
issue #04. I’m so glad they did. I just love this book. I’m not sure what’s going on. There’s a mysterious city tied to immortal beings, the afterlife, evolution, and a concept of God. There’s cool old men with particular skill sets in the vein of some movies that I can’t remember the exact titles of, but there’s cool old men with particular skill sets doing cool stuff and making the young kids seem inexperienced, because they are.
This volume is unigue in that I think it’s the first Hickman book without extra material in each issue, and yet still each issue feels dense with the amount of character building and world building contained in each. The story reaches out to tickle the ages of some Freemason mythology, as well as some nods to those millions of years that we aren’t quite sure about. There is the main dude, a former army bloke of serious badass level, he’s made a deal to lead a mysterious woman in white deep into a mysterious etheral city and he puts together a team of aging badasses to get whatever it is he’s after. I’m expecting something like the The Wiz but with less singing and more shooting. And whatever the story is about I am pretty sure there will be examinations of the nature of evil in the world and who steers the course of all humanity, but if it ends up just being about a hard to replace cupcake recipe, I think I shall be still rather content with it all.
It’s a cheap $9.99 introductory offer to another amazing Hickman story with strong visual design impact (though a little clean for a tale focused on the aging) – why are we still sitting here discussing it? Go on, get.
Image Comics: The Dying and The Dead: Jonathan Hickman (writer) / Ryan Bodenheim (artist)