Comic Publishers

June 22, 2010

BOOM! Studios Reviews: Pale Horse #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Christian Diabari
Cover: Leonardo Manco

“Pale Horse pt 1”: Cole was selling animal pelts when he overhears three men bragging about how they had forced themselves on a Native American woman earlier that day. So after finishing his transaction, he rides home to find his wife beaten and dying on the floor. And with her last few breaths she tells Cole that their infant son is safely hidden, and after retrieving him, Cole sets out to find the men who did this and kill them.

There is no time wasted in the setup of this story as it pretty much just dives right into the action in first couple of pages. For right now, we know all we need to about the main character Cole, and his circumstances. This made for  a good story, actually a better one than I expected to get. When done correctly, there is nothing like a good old fashioned western and Cosby and Nelson have all of the elements in place here to tell a great tale from that era! Things are even more difficult for the lead character Cole by being an African American during the Civil War era in Wyoming. So add that to his revenge mission and raising a child while men are out to kill him, and he’s pretty much got his hands full.

Christian Diabari’s artwork has me on the fence as some panels just don’t hold up well while others are pretty good. There is also the issue of Cole’s son who is three years old by the end of the story, but at some points he looks a lot older, and unfortunately his proportions are off. Diabari conveys the fact that the child has seen things on a regular basis no three year old should ever see by the vacant look on his face. He knows this regardless of what’s going on around him, making you feel kinda sorry for the little guy.  The action scenes were pretty intense and he lets Cole cut loose when it comes to the violence; like when he shoots a bar patron in the mouth for disrespecting his dead wife. All in all, Diabari uses the space well and utilizes some very good angles to keep the eye moving which enhances the experience.

I did notice quite a few parallels with Pale Horse and the Lone Wolf and Cub manga, as Cole is a Bounty Hunter and Ogami Itto is an assassin. And since Cole hasn’t brought a bounty in alive in the three years he’s been on the job, that’s kind of the same thing in LW&C.  Both characters are traveling the country, killing men with their three year old sons in tow, but where Itto was seeking revenge against those who disgraced him, we have yet to see where Cole’s story is taking him. But no matter where it goes it won’t be a good thing for anyone in his way, because only Death comes on a Pale Horse and in this story it’s comin’ for quite a few!

Infinite Speech



  1. Eli

    Speech, this looks interesting. I mean, you’re right about westerns. There’s something about them, and this seems like a pretty good one. Thanks.

  2. This actually impressed me a little Eli but I do hope that my issues are put to ease in the next few installments in the series.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by boomstudios, Derek Ruiz. Derek Ruiz said: RT @boomstudios: PALE HORSE #1…'you’re right about westerns. There’s something about them, and this seems like a pretty good one.' […]

  4. I thought this issue was bad ass.

  5. […] to get information from a certain young woman who was mentioned by one of the men he killed in the first issue. After dealing with a few thugs Cole finally gets the info he wants after speaking with Abigail and […]

  6. […] there’s one genre that’s making a comeback in comics, it’s westerns. Whether it be Pale Horse or non-gunslingers such as Foster Broussard: Demons of the Gold Rush. The good part about western […]

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