"The Damned #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Brian Hurtt
Colored by Bill Crabtree
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 10th, 2018
Eddie is dead. Don't worry though, he has a tendency to come back. In an effort to save his mother's soul from the afterlife, he's slit his wrists to enter the land of the dead. Meanwhile, his brother Morgan has to keep Eddie's body safe from the demonic Roarke crime family, who wants to make sure he never comes back to life again. Morgan has to do this without touching Eddie's skin because if he does that, his life will end instantly and Eddie will wake back up. And you thought your family reunions were weird.
There's a healthy amount of dark humor in The Damned #7. It comes from the fact that Morgan is essentially using Eddie's dead body as a shield. Since his brother will come back to life unharmed once someone touches him, he doesn't feel too bad about tossing the corpse around a little. By the end of the issue, Eddie looks like he's been put through a meat grinder. Bones are broken. Knives are sticking out of a few spots.
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My favorite sequence is when Morgan is thrown to the front of a pickup truck, landing on the hood. He looks up at the driver with a knowing grin on his face and then promptly smashes Eddie's face through the windshield. The demons know they can't touch Eddie, so it's like someone threw a live grenade into the truck.
Artist Brian Hurtt creates some great action scenes in The Damned #7. There are a few images that spread across two pages showing big elaborate shots. That pickup truck scene ends with a huge car crash. Bodies flying through the air as metal grinds against metal.
All of Morgan's scenes are set in the evening. Colorist Bill Crabtree gives the comic a drab, grey look. This might sound boring, but that's not the case. It fits with the fact that Eddie's dead and Morgan is carrying around his corpse. Plus, it makes the blood pop off the page when it starts flowing. The action scenes receive an added intensity since they're almost not expected.
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Contrast this with the colorless world of the afterlife as Eddie makes his way through. It's a broken city, lost to time. The buildings are crumbling. There are barely any people in sight. He's guided through it by a little demonic creature. If this is where you go when you die, then death is the most depressing thing that could ever happen to you.
There's a hazy effect on these pages, as if Eddie is walking through a fog. It makes this world look unreal, like you're seeing it in a dream. This adds to the unsettling quality of the setting. Eddie's journey through the world of the dead looks like it's just beginning, so Morgan better keep a handle on his body.
The Damned is the most fun you'll have with a dead body since Weekend at Bernie's. Morgan is a great addition to the cast and I hope to see more of him as the series continues. Writer Cullen Bunn has a talent for interesting and unpredictable stories and The Damned is no different. Anyone that's ever enjoyed a mobster movie should be reading this book every month.