July 24, 2013

Black Mask Reviews: Twelve Reasons To Die #2

12RTDTwelve Reasons To Die #2
Publisher: Black Mask
Writer(s): Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Artist(s): Breno Tamura,Tim Seeley, Gus Storms, & Nate Powell
Cover: Garry Brown

This companion piece to Ghostface Killah’s album bearing the same name continues its violent and horror inspired two-pronged story approach. The first story takes us back to the DeLuca crime family where we see Anthony Starks (Ghostface Killah) handling interrogations for them. His extreme methods don’t go over so well with several members, which ends up with him being kicked out. However, Rosenberg shows us that this may have been his plan all along. The second tale continues to show us the body count of the mysterious “death record.” A priest is violently killed, and a trip to an asylum takes a very dark turn as yet another life is taken. And who is the mysterious individual who desperately wants the record for himself?

Make no mistake that Twelve Reasons To Die is a no holds barred violent crime tale that entertains better than expected. This issue in particular has a much smoother pacing than the first, which came across as more of a zero issue. We’re introduced to the dynamics of the 12 DeLucas’ relationship with Starks and what kind of man he is. Rosenberg and Kindlon also show that regardless of how much of a brute he may appear to be, he’s a few steps ahead and has serious plans brewing. This story also flows much better because of the character development and intense action taking place throughout. As we move into The Dead Years tale, things slow down a bit and the mood is set just like it should be in a decent horror story. There is a very definite shift in tone and feel that lets you know you’ve turned a corner into something much different. It seems as if there will be a point these two stories converge, but for now the slow build and mystery is playing out quite nicely.

The artwork itself fits and expands on each story perfectly. Breno Tamura does an excellent job at not just moving the story, but adding a level of grittiness that puts it over the top. You’re pulled into that era and he is totally in sync with the narrative. Gus Storms does the same for The Dead Yearsfrom start to finish. Whether it’s the characters themselves or the actions taking place, the horror aspect is never lost in those creepy panels. Especially the opening death scene with the priest.

Twelve Reasons To Die is an example of a cross media tie in done right. Whether you’ve bought the album (which has a few spoilers) or just decided to read the comic, you’re definitely coming away from the experience entertained!

Infinite Speech



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