Dead Rabbit #1
Writing - 9/10
Art - 8.5/10
Overall - 9/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: October 3, 2018
Dead Rabbit #1 gives us another brass-knuckle-wearing, playing-by-their-own-rules, lovable criminal.
Introducing Martin Dobbs, in Dead Rabbit #1
Dead Rabbit #1 is introducing a character I’m glad has arrived. A criminal with his own set of rules, matching the brutality of Rorschach, while still being as likeable as Spider-Man. Written by Gerry Duggan, an author who has taken on the mind of Deadpool, this new ongoing series is perfect for those yearning for some street-level action.
Duggan begins the story with some exposition on who Dead Rabbit is, done through a “Where are they now” style broadcast. I appreciate it being done this way instead of using clunky dialogue. We are learning that Dead Rabbit was a Boston-based criminal who was not overly picky when it came to his targets. Stealing from criminals and banks, even pulling a heist at Fenway Park, he made the 1990s his playground. Through the program, we are also able to get glimpses of how the world responds to our new protagonist. It’s a split mix of fans and enemies.
Flash forward twenty-one years and we focus on Martin Dobbs. The man behind the mask, who is enjoying retirement with his wife. A wife suffering from an illness, which means medical bills that have to be paid. No longer living off the winnings from his last big score, Dobbs is now trying to make an honest living. Taking a job at a superstore, it is during his shift we can see how bored he his with a humdrum life. It also works as a redeeming trait for the character. Moving forward we know he at least tried. He tried to be good with the intention of supporting his wife. But there is, of course, something that happens that unsettles Martin. Unsettling to the point where he has to put the mask back on.
Dead Rabbit #1 primarily focuses on Martin Dobbs. Duggan makes him a likeable enough character. Whether talking about hemorrhoids or laying out his plans and the information he has, you want to hear what he has to say each time. With so much focus on Dobbs, the interactions with the rest of the cast are limited, not fully being explored yet. Unfortunately, that means his wife does not have much depth at the moment. In this first issue, it plays as she is just someone for Dobbs to worry about. The danger here is that they could fridge her, but we’ll have to continue the story to see.
John McCrea is not a stranger to action. Having worked on titles such as DC’s Hitman and Judge Dredd, he can make a throat punch oddly satisfying. His style matches the Boston Brawler vibe that the book is putting out. But it’s outside of the action that McCrea shines in this book. Creating tension in the calm moments. Making use of medium to extreme close-ups in the panels. A pretty normal conversation over a checkout counter is all the more sinister with this technique.
I’ve been a fan of Gerry Duggan since his work on Deadpool. And Dead Rabbit #1 has kept me a fan. It sets up a grounded and fun series. From realistic action to low-brow humor, this is a series that if you love a single Jason Statham movie, you’ll love reading this.
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