It has been over a year but finally Top Cow are returning to Eden with Postal: Deliverance. Byran Hill and Matt Hawkins return to the series to revisit the characters they created in 2015. Picking up after the events of the two Postal Specials from 2018, the Shiffron family have moved on, taking new roles in and out of the town of Eden. However, trouble is never too far away and both Mark and Laura seem to attract it like moths to a flame.
The opening of Postal Deliverance introduces a new character to the readers. Eric Cayman enters the Edenverse in a hail of bullets and surrounded by tragedy. Bryan Hill uses the introduction to set the tone of this first issue and to remind the reader about the complexities of the characters. One of the strongest elements if Postal was the contrasting natures of the characters; neither good nor evil.
Cayman is the epitome of this concept. His first appearance is violent and desperate but contains elements of a normal life. As the story unfolds the reader gets to see Cayman in number of different lights. Good guy or bad? The jury is still out.
The story then shifts physically and tonally thanks to the Raffaele Ienco’s coloring. The coldness created by the dark blues in the opening are replaced by the bright sun light of Florida. The retired Mayor of Eden, Laura Shiffron, is bored living her new life. This is made clear instantly by the bleached colors and framing of Laura and Magnum on the page. In each panel there is something separating them, a visual divider reflecting Laura’s mood.
Elsewhere Mark and Maggie appear contented in their new roles in Eden. They have as close to a normal family life as possible juxtaposing the earlier scenes with Cayman’s family. The normality of the setting helps the reader to focus on the conversation which portrays the characteristics of Mark and Maggie. Long-time readers can see how they have changed from the last series while new readers get to know the central cast.
One of the criticisms aimed at the original series of Postal was that the art was inconsistent. The same cannot be said for Ienco’s work. He has a highly detailed style which is suited to this type of storytelling. With thin line work and tight compositions, Ienco packs a lot of information into a panel while at the same time creating a sense of drama.
He also uses the progression of panels to simulate a camera movement on a number of pages. The reader gets the impression that the camera is slowly tracking from a close up to a wide shot, emphasising the moment and slowing the passage of time. In other scenes, there a number of close ups like quick snapshots which increase the pacing without losing focus.
Between them Hill and Ienco have produced a comic of conflicts; physical conflicts between characters, emotional conflicts, and storytelling conflicts. The narrative is captivating and tense, even in the more sedate scenes and the art work adds a level of realism.
Postal Deliverance is a welcome return to the Edenverse with familiar characters and intriguing new personalities delivering a thrilling come back. Postal was populated by morally ambiguous characters and situations and this new series is already following suit.
If you enjoyed the original run there is no reason you shouldn’t pick this up. It contains everything that the original did but presented in a more confident manner. The creators know this time they have a comic that can work, so they come out swinging.
Postal Deliverance is for anyone who enjoys thrillers or smart action movies. It gets the adrenaline pumping and the mind working overtime. A clever use of coloring sets up tonal shifts and the structure of the narrative provides a great set up for the series.