Gerry Duggan (Writer), John McCrea (Artist), Mike Spicer (Colorist), Joe Sabino (Letterer).
After cancellation in 2018, Gerry Duggan and John McCrea's crime noir-esque story about Martin, a former criminal/vigilante back from a hiatus, is on shelves this week under a new name, "Dead Eyes #1." Equal parts Boondock Saints and a Scorcese film, Dead Eyes proves it couldn't be kept down for long.
Martin, formerly known under his alias Dead Eyes (due to the "x"s he wears where his pupils should be), is being revered by the news media on the anniversary of his "death." At this time, we learn that the crime-inducing menace/hero-to-some has traded in the glamorous life of theft and murder for a more "normal" one, taking care of his ill wife, working a nine-to-five job, and trying his best to stay straight. Fate has other plans for Martin as he's thrust back into his old ways, and has to determine how he'll use his skills this time around.
Duggan is an amazing storyteller. Ever since his run on Deadpool (2012), I've enjoyed his fast-paced, witty style. I breezed through this first issue of Dead Eyes, due in part to Duggan's mastery of dialogue and prose. Right off the bat, he made me feel sympathy for someone who is, ostensibly, a murdering crook. If that's not good writing, I don't know what is.
McCrea, known for his co-creation Hitman (1993), along with colorist Mike Spicer, create a world that's both noir and movie-esque. Utilizing space, and lack thereof, the art duo manage to both invoke dread (see below), as well as movie visualization (see below-below.) The book is a breeze to get through in part because of the way in which McCrea and Spicer guide us through the story. Pages heavy with dialogue never feel cumbersome; pages with violence never feel too heavy. Along with Joe Sabino's superb lettering, the art helps this book stand out.
I hadn't read the canceled Dead Rabbit, but I've read it's a similar story. I have a feeling there's no need to have read the book under its previous title (which is good since it's out of print), and new fans can jump right in.