Comics Review: R.I.P.D.: CITY OF THE DAMNED #1

“R.I.P.D.: CITY OF THE DAMNED #1” is out and ready for your consideration. If you’re familiar with the 2006 graphic novel by Peter Lenkov, then you know about the Rest in Peace Department, where good cops meant for heaven end up for one last call to duty. That’s what is going on in this limited run plus a lot more. You like Jeff Bridges, right? Sure, you LOVE The Dude! Well, keep that happy thought in mind with this issue. If you’re totally hip to what’s going on, you may even already know about the movie based on Mr. Lenkov’s book….and it stars Jeff Bridges! Yeah, The Dude! Or maybe you should be thinking more along the lines of “True Grit.” Be that as it may, this comic strikes all the right notes.

For one thing, this comic makes me want to see the movie, which happens to come out on July 19, 2013. I’m not sure what was significant about that date to be chosen as a release date but that date sure is significant now. That’s when I get my first chance at seeing this movie! It’s not only that special eccentric quality about Bridges I’m looking forward to. This comic makes me believe it won’t be wasted.

Just read this first issue and tell me it’s not that whole bunch of crazy you were looking for but couldn’t quite put your finger on. This is a four-issue story by Jeremy Barlow graced by the art of Tony Parker. In this first part, we begin with crusty old Roy and, Nick, his handsome young sidekick. They’re inside some gleaming sinister structure and they’re fending off robots. Roy lets Nick know he is going to have to go it alone. Next thing you know, Roy is blasted back in time one hundred some years ago. It’s a desert landscape, looks like it might be out in the Old West – or maybe not. Two men in white stallions approach our hero. One is in a black garb like a monk. The other could be a Chinese warrior. Roy, his body riddled with bullet holes, is supposed to already be dead. But the monk thinks he looks thirsty and offers him some water. Before Roy can answer, he is whisked away into an outhouse that is a portal to a vast labyrinth of activity, the Rest In Peace Department.

Roy finds himself inside the inner sanctum of one of the prime operators of the department. He is informed that the delicate balance of life and death has been disrupted. There are more souls going out than coming back and Roy’s last whereabouts were right at the suspected hotspot of all the fuss. It doesn’t mean all that much to Roy, at least not right then. Maybe later it will. Maybe after he sees what’s at stake and after his first encounter with a mass of pitch black evil that comes riding out of the horizon. Hold the phone, maybe Roy is interested now. Yeah, this story will be a real kick, whether you knew about the Jeff Bridges movie or not. The artwork by Tony Parker is really sweet, a rather low-key offbeat style that is nicely complimented by the muted coloring of Michelle Madsen. I can’t wait for the movie or the next issue.

Learn more about it from our friends at Dark Horse Comics.

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