"Soul: No Saints Day" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Double Take
Written by Michael Coast and Brad Lawrence
Illustrated by Ricardo Sanchez, Jose Luis, Ricardo Silva, Kurt Tiede, Leandro Tonelli, Tomas Aira, and Adriano Vicente
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain, Harrison Yinfaowei, Max Flan, Newsha Ghasemi, Dennis Calero, and Leonardo Paciarotti
2016, 144 Pages
Trade paperback released on September 28th, 2016
Ben has seen better days. It was bad enough that he narrowly survived a horde of ghouls looking to eat his flesh. Then he wakes up the next day and is mistaken for a member of the undead, and shot. It turns out Ben's got some sort of special ability that allows him to return to life, although not the way the zombies have been doing it. It’s more like he’s in Groundhog Day, waking up at the same moment over and over again. He figures this out because he keeps dying despite his best efforts.
As mentioned in some of my other reviews for Double Take's opening slate of titles, they're meant to create a super hero universe spinning out of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It's not immediately clear that this is the goal from reading the books. I learned that from reading about it online. Soul: No Saint's Day is a bit more straightforward with its super-powered portion with how Ben resets the day each time. It's easier to pick up that this is what's going on, which is unlike the other comics in the line.
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What's interesting is watching how Ben tries to adjust his methods in an effort to stay alive. It's very difficult, especially since he's a black man in the mid-1960s and there are two dead bodies in the basement. Hell, the first time he wakes up, he gets shot in the head just for looking out the window. How he gained these abilities is a mystery, as is what he intends to do with them, if anything.
Soul suffers from similar frustrations as the other Double Take books in that it doesn't really explain much and ends without any sort of resolution, leaving you wondering what the heck you just read. You came in expecting zombies and left with a whole lot of confusion.
The artwork in Soul is uneven and often rather rough. This could be because it had eight artists contributing to five chapters. Additionally, a section of the book is just a reprint of some pages from Rise: Sister's Keeper featuring Barbara and her brother, which doesn't help in this story at all. Many images look pixelated, like they were blown up to a larger size to fit a section of the page.
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The covers for each individual issue collected within this trade paperback are the real standouts for artwork. There are some gorgeous and horrifying images that serve as chapter breaks here. I would have loved to see more of this caliber artwork within the interior pages.
Soul: No Saint's Day joins the rest of the Double Take line as a seed of a good idea with absolutely no follow through. Coupled with inconsistent artwork and an overall nonsensical plot and it's an unhealthy combination. I've read almost all of these titles and I've been giving them a chance, however none of them have clicked for me. On the surface, this should be something that's right up my alley, but it's a jumbled mess.