"7 Days of Death #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Devil's Due Entertainment
Written and Illustrated by Jordan Michael Johnson
2015, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 13th, 2015
Robert Boyd had a good life. He was married to a beautiful woman. He had a great house and a pet dog. This perfect image is shattered when a group of burglars break into his home, brandishing guns and looking for money, jewels, and violence. Jump forward a bit and Robert is living in a cabin in the woods, a shell of his former self. His wife is gone, but he's getting by...that is, until a giant monster steps into his backyard and changes everything.
The thing about 7 Days of Death is that it's not what it seems. It starts out like a run-of-the-mill home invasion story. It's terrifying because it feels too real. You can imagine yourself in that same scenario, forced to watch a loved one stand in shock with a gun pointed at their head. It isn't until the halfway mark that the book takes an abrupt turn into the unknown and completely reframes its status quo. Writer / artist Jordan Michael Johnson deftly repositions the comic abruptly and never misses a beat. You're already pulled in to Robert's life by this point, so when he's faced with a beast of Godzilla proportions, you're totally onboard.
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I don't want to spoil the big twist in 7 Days of Death. It's brilliant and worth discovering on your own. What I will tell you is that Robert is suddenly thrown into battle with a gigantic monster. Now, that might sound weird given the context, but I assure you, it flows masterfully. Johnson explains it all perfectly and the issue will leave you chomping at the bit for more.
The monster itself is pretty friggin' creepy. This is in stark contrast to Johnson's overall style which falls more towards the cartoony side of the spectrum. It's tough to describe this creature in detail. It's like a huge skinless beaver covered in dark holes with tentacles spewing forth from them. It's like a woodland nightmare in kaiju form, also reinforcing while I'll never go camping. When confronted by this abomination, Robert takes a moment to comprehend what he's seeing. His mind is struggling to process what this thing is and how it got here before he jumps into action.
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Johnson weaves some key text into the artwork itself in a very organic way. It's not like that weird bulky text you'd see on Fringe that told you the location of the scene. That always bothered me. Instead, he uses the text as a frame at first, using it to outline the words for the twist itself. It really lets it sink in. He then uses blood, bodies, and a discarded gun to write the words “To Be Continued” in the snow on the final page to great effect.
7 Days of Death gets you comfortable in a setting before pulling the rug out from under you. It does so in such a satisfying way that makes for a really interesting story and one I can't wait to explore further. It presents a very real feeling as a man is given the chance to be with his wife, who he thought was gone forever. Who wouldn't move heaven and earth for a chance at reuniting with a lost loved one? In Robert's case, he'll have to fight monsters and demons, but he's proven more than capable of doing so in spectacular fashion.