Over My Dead Body is published by Image Comics. It is written by Jay Faerber, with pencils from Simone Guglielmini, inks by Gigi Baldassini, colors by Ron Riley, and letters from Charles Pritchett.
Over My Dead Body opens with a failed parole hearing for notorious contract killer Markham. He returns to his regular life in prison only for it to be summarily interrupted. The Warden, who Markham has become close with, needs his help. A prisoner has wooed his daughter and taken her to a white-supremacist compound. The Warden offers guaranteed parole in exchange for Markham rescuing his daughter.
The beginning of the story isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it is a strong setup. Faerber goes to great lengths, in the beginning, to show that Markham is the real deal. Were he a simple contract killer, Markham would be decidedly less interesting, but thanks to the angle that he refuses to kill, the stakes of his conflicts rise dramatically.
Now on the outside, Markham makes short work of locating the white supremacists. After arranging a ruse to ingratiate himself with them, Markham gets himself inside the compound. Once inside he discovers a new wrinkle that could cause further problems. The Warden’s daughter is more than just a little infatuated with her Nazi beau. Now, behind enemy lines, Markham will have to get creative if he’s going to save her. Much less if he’s going to escape with his own head intact as well.
With all the pieces in place and the stakes set, Markham’s mission is an exciting romp. Seeing his ingenuity in action as he constantly grapples with saving lives and not killing is a treat. This is all strengthened by the grounded artwork from Guglielmini and Baldassini. For example, the action, of which there is a great deal, is generally very clean. There are a few panels where it can be difficult to tell exactly what someone is doing in a fight. But those are few and far between. The colors from Riley are always situationally appropriate and help keep the art feeling realistic. Pritchett’s letters also work towards this end. Though it would have been nice to see a few more bombastic sound effects drawn out.
On the whole, the Over My Dead Body is a strong entry into the crime thriller genre. This is, in large part, thanks to the strength of Markham as a character. You wouldn’t expect that a story that essentially boils down to “John Wick without killing” would be fun, but it truly is. That being said, at times the art does falter a bit and the supporting cast could use a shot in the arm in the first half. Despite this, I recommend Over My Dead Body to anybody who is a fan of stories about career criminals. A genre which I have some experience reviewing.
Over My Dead Body Trade Paperback is available now wherever comics are sold
Over My Dead Body Trade Paperback
You wouldn’t expect that a story that essentially boils down to “John Wick without killing” would be fun, but it truly is.