From writer John Zuur Platten and artist Christian Dibari comes a 90’s as hell tale of crooked cops and cursed firearms in Revolvers #1. Featuring colors from Simon Gough and lettering by Troy Peteri, this Top Cow comic book starts off in the land of familiar action and crime movie tropes but makes itself more enticing with its brutal visuals and teases of hellish lore in the final pages. With a derivative but entertaining script and some great visuals, Revolvers will not doubt be a hit with readers looking for something with a little blood spatter.
“Hampton Wales, a Detroit homicide detective, finds himself trapped in a mysterious and violent reality, only to find himself dead while attempting to solve a seemingly average and routine homicide. Confronted by an immortal tormenter known as La Piton (the Python), Hampton begins a dark and twisted quest to find out why and how he died. To do so, he must face off against a legion of gun-toting, deceased Revolvers within the Moratorium, a hellish version of Purgatory. Hampton will need to “kill or be killed” to have enough time to unravel his demise and discover it was by his own hand, someone else, or something more sinister.”
Writing & Plot
Revolvers #1 starts its story off as a formulaic R-rated detective story before diving more into its supernatural plotline. For the first two-thirds of the issue we follow depressed detective Hampton Wales as he recounts his day to a prostitute (he’s married, by the way). He’s gotten a man killed, his partner is bloodthirsty and corrupt, everyone on the force is on the take, etc. The majority of this comic is ripped right out of a 70’s or 80’s grindhouse police movie, and if you’re way into that then great! However, it’s so familiar that it would be easy to lose interest in the story before the comic reached its horror-style focus. Once the comic gets gory and starts dealing with the occult, it becomes a much more engaging read. The notion of a cursed, unnatural firearm isn’t new either, but it’s a cool enough plot device that, alongside the rest of the comic’s events leading up to Wales receiving the revolver, the end of the book makes up for much of the book’s prior flaws. The dialogue is a bit on the cornball side, and it honestly works perfectly for the book. As comic book plots go, this is a pretty safe bet for an Image book – especially for fans of the grindhouse-style edge of 90’s Image.
The dark city streets and nightmare underworld visions of Revolvers #1 are brought to life by artist Christian Dibari. His hatching-heavy, angular designs craft the exact aesthetic this comic deserves. Every panel is bathed in shadow, thanks to how Dibari shades surfaces and characters. There is a lot of effort put into making this vision of Detroit as run-down and crime-ridden as possible, and the art really does a great job of selling that oppressive and violent atmosphere. Character designs are pretty bog-standard, but that isn’t really important in a book like this. Where Dibari really gets to shine is with the bloody landscapes and twisted flesh when the supernatural stuff materializes. From freshly skinned bodies to towering spires of gore and eyes, Dibari does a stellar job of creating striking scenes that feel like something out of a video game. His sequencing is solid as well, with careful shot choices and panel variation carrying the reading experience along at a steady pace. Simon Gough’s colors do a solid job of cementing the book’s gritty aesthetic with a dark, almost muddy color aesthetic. Because of the book’s setting and overall vibe, he doesn’t have much to work with outside of blacks, browns, and reds, but it’s still impressive work that works in service of the story. Overall, Revolvers has the exact sort of visual experience this brutal, grimy, 90’s style throwback needs.
Revolvers #1 is a solid first issue for fans of edgy Image comics. John Zuur Platten’s script starts off held back by overly formulaic tropes, but becomes much more engaging once the dark supernatural material kicks in. The visuals from Christian Dibari and Simon Gough are sharp, dark, and well-directed, making for a comics experience that will bring readers back to the 90’s and early 2000’s of brutal & hard-edged comic books. Be sure to grab this debut issue when it hits shelves on October 5th!