DEAD EYES #4
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Joe Sabino
I had a very different impression of how this series would play out when it originally appeared as Dead Rabbit about a year ago. The first couple of issues really gave me the same kind of vibe that I get from other crime fiction series from the likes of Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka but with Duggan's own unique flavor. Unfortunately now that the third and fourth issues have come out, the series doesn't seem to quite live up to that promise.
Which is actually ok because now I think the expectations have been adjusted correctly and this series now reminds me of something that would have come from Vertigo in the late 90s. The issue picks at a police k9 training center where it appears Martin has broken into and stolen a trained k9 to help track down the money that he found out about last issue. He poses as a pest control coming into the apartment complex to do an annual walkthrough. It works up until the point where it doesn't and Martin gets in a fight with a couple of martial artists who happen to be coming out of the elevator just as he finds the money which leads to a pretty ridiculous fight. This is the part where I was taken out of it, Duggan injects a certain kind of humor into a lot of his writing but it felt a bit too much here and paired with the art it really reminded me of some indie book from the 90s.
Meanwhile it appears Martin's wife is catching on that he's back in the life but wants to use any money that Martin may be acquiring as the Dead Eyes to help some of the misfortunate people that she's been encountering in the hospital she's been staying at. This reveal I hope leads to what the point of the book is moving forwards where Martin uses the Dead Eyes persona to be some kind of present day Robin Hood.
I've mentioned the art reminding me of a book that would have come out in the late 90s and early 00s, that's not to say it's a bad thing. I actually like the art quite a bit, my comments are more because the art reminds me a lot of 100 Bullets, DMZ and others around that time period. It mostly works well here, there are a couple of wonky panels here and there but for the most part the art is solid. I do think the art as a whole really stand out during either more dynamic moments or night time moments when Martin is dressed Dead Eyes as I think the costume design is great and has really stood out in the previous issue. This issue unfortunately takes place mostly during the day so the issue didn't quite hit the same level as previous ones.
Overall this was a decent issue but unfortunately my worry now is that this series won't last long. While it's a perfectly serviceable series so far, it doesn't really offer much that we haven't seen before or are currently getting from other series. So far this is a series I'd recommend for Duggan or crime fiction fans, outside of that you might not find much so far.