Friday, March 5, 2010

Dead Enders Vol. 1: Stealing the Sun

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Warren Pleece and Richard Case

I had no idea that this title lasted for something like 16 issues, and that only the first four were ever collected in a trade. This book originally came out during a time where my comics buying was quite limited, and so it stayed below my radar, until I became more familiar with Brubaker's work.

It's a very different title from what you would expect from this writer. Dead Enders is set in a post-cataclysmic future, where rich and poor are divided into different sectors, with the wealthy being able to enjoy artificial weather, while the poor suffer from gray skies and any number of environmental illnesses.

The story centres around Beezer, a drug-dealer and neo-mod (for lack of a better term). Beezer has this strange habit of seeing visions of the past, and has managed to draw the attention of some government guy, who is looking to make use of his abilities (this is never really made clear). This brings police to Beezer's home, where they find his drug stash, sending him on the run.

Dead Enders is very much about Beezer's friendships and his tempestuous relationship with Sophie, his girlfriend. When his closest friend, Jasper, is injured during a repo job, Beezer sets out to make his last days pleasurable.

Not a lot happens in this volume, but at the same time, Brubaker packs a lot of story and world-building into a small space. Other writers, these days, would take six to eight issues to accomplish what he manages in four.

The art, by Warren Pleece, looks quite nice, although Richard Case's inks make his art look quite different from his work on Kinetic. My biggest art complaint would be that the colour of Beezer's hair kept changing, making me wonder if he was the same character or someone else in places.

This was an enjoyable book, and I think I may now be on the look-out for the single issues, which are unlikely to ever get reprinted in trade form.

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