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DEAD SEAS #1 [Preview/Review]

DEAD SEAS #1/ Script by CAVAN SCOTT/ Art by NICK BROKENSHIRE/ Letters by SHAWN LEE/ COVERS BY NICK BROKENSHIRE, ARIO ANINDITO & KELLEY JONES/ Published by IDW PUBLISHING

It’s been ten years since the ghosts returned and became one more hazard of urban living. The good news is scientists quickly discovered that running water could be used to contain and destroy the undead. The bad news is that they also discovered ectoplasm can be used for numerous medical applications, leading the money men to step in and shift the focus from destroying the undead to capturing them and farming them for a profit.

None of this matters much to hustler Gus Ortiz, save that volunteering for a prison program that puts convicts to work gathering ectoplasm on one of the ghost ships maintained by Barrico Industries is his ticket to a shorter sentence. Unfortunately, the containment process isn’t quite as simple as the suits would have it, as there’s much that can go wrong on even an ordinary prison ship. This places Gus in the middle of a powder keg of vengeful specters, rioting convicts and brutal guards.

Dead Seas #1 - Page 01
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Dead Seas #1 - Page 02
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Dead Seas #1 - Page 03
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Dead Seas #1 - Page 04-05
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IDW describes Dead Seas #1 as “Part Poseidon Adventure, part The Haunting of Hill House.” I would personally describe it as a mash-up of Ghostbusters and Con Air. All comparisons aside, it is one hell of a book!

I’ve been a fan of Cavan Scott’s writing since his days on the Doctor Who comic and he remains in fine form here. Scott is a master of managing large ensembles and imbuing even his stock characters with personality. You can clearly see the usual tropes here, with characters who neatly fall into the classic roles of reluctant hero, spirited heroine and talkative loon, but Scott develops them into real individuals.

The artwork by Nick Brokenshire employs a similar deceptive simplicity. Brokenshire doesn’t employ a lot of linework in his human characters, which streamlines the action considerably. It also makes the ghosts, which are vividly detailed, stand out all the stronger and make them seem all the more unworldly. The effect is most unsettling.

Horror fans will find a lot to like about Dead Seas #1. Fans of Cavan Scott and Nick Brokenshire’s work on various Star Wars books would also do well to check it out. Dead Seas is a lively read!

Dead Seas #1 releases on December 21, 2022.

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