DEATH-RATTLER #1 Insane Comics

Book Retort: Death Rattler #1

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Death-Rattler #1 by Kelly Bender and Ryan Downing is a new comic from Insane Comics.  Reminiscent of old Image Comics (back when that company first began,) here we have the overly-buxom women wearing little-to-nothing (though conveniently barely-covered in the right places to avoid outright nudity), the villains that look decidedly villainous, and a story built around action with lots of mature situations.

That being said, Death Rattler #1 is not overly impressive.  Certainly it is a labor of love by the creators, as is apparent by the high quality of the book.  However, the script could use a little more revision.  There were a few points where the dialogue was a bit repetitive. In the comic format, where you only have so much space for the text, being succinct is important.  One character in particular however, did benefit from the writing style, and that was the sheriff, with whom readers will sense a unique voice for him.


One of the selling points of Death-Rattler is that it’s a super science western and it really takes a back seat to the rest of the story.  Only having read issue #1 so far, it reads and feels more like a traditional western and the tech, when it does get used or shown, is more of an afterthought than an intrinsic part of the world.

The art, a decidedly strong point of Death-Rattler, as mentioned before is much like the early days of Image Comics.  The anatomy is exaggerated, not just in the women’s (ahem) attributes, but also in the general comics style of today.  Main characters are lovingly drawn and detailed, while the supporting cast is more caricature.  This is not a put-down about the art style though.  This style is common and again, space is at a premium in a twenty four page book. Denoting the expendable extras from the recurring or main characters is necessary.

Overall, Death-Rattler #1 has some strong and weak points for sure.  It remains to be seen if issue #2 improves or not.  However, at the close of the first issue, it lacks a strong hook or desire for wanting to read the next chapter.



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    John Enfield

    The setting seems interesting. Too bad the dialog isn’t on par with the artwork.

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      Timothy Connolly

      The artwork is phenomenal. It would be tough for any dialogue to hold a candle to it. Much of its dialogue still does make me smile though, in an entertaining B-movie “guilty pleasure” sort of way. Let’s give it a chance. So far, Death Rattler is fertile soil for wonderful storytelling, with fabulous characters being introduced in the first issue (“Whitetail” Tracker and Lady Rose come to mind.) I’ve seen the first 2 issues so far, and I’ll see the first story arc through to completion before deciding if it’s a good fit for me personally. Of course I’ll be careful about who I recommend Death Rattler to. If it were a film, it would be rated R. A hard R, no less. That’s not an affront to my cultured sensibilities though, what with my having been a reader of Heavy Metal magazine since my early teenage years. As such, my unusual mind was opened wide a long time ago.

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