Writers: Michael Lent & Brian McCarthy
Artist: Michael Cho (cover by Stjepan Sejic)
“Trail of Blood” begins right where issue #1 left off. The gang of thieves and murderers that have been sent to Brimstone have just seen something that even their stomachs can’t take. Corpses strewn everywhere, some torn in pieces, some apparently gnawed upon by some kind of wild animal. Either way, the gang makes their way through town, and finds nobody alive at first. Just as they turn their backs, a figure jumps out of the shadows and mounts one of the horses. As the person rides like the wind, one of the gang, Viper, shoots the horse and the rider gets thrown violently to the ground. It’s not just anybody, though; it’s a beautiful woman. The gang stares at her for a few seconds, but the leader tells them there’ll be time for “that” later. They then go inside another building, but in this one, they find a jail cell full of gold along with the bodies of a few more townspeople. Inside the cell is a guy who looks dead, but springs to life and starts shooting everywhere. He tells them that they are all dead. The next thing you know there is a pounding at the door, and what happens next is totally unexpected for the gang…most of them, anyway. Rating 3.5/5
Writers: Michael Lent & Brian McCarthy
Artist: Hyunsang Michael Cho (cover by Marat Mychaels & Ivan Nunes)
In issue #3, “Shadows of the Dead,” the outlaws get to have a more in-depth explanation of what it is that they’re facing. Annabelle tells the men that what they face is men that have been overcome by an ancient Indian curse that basically turns the dead into Fleshwalkers (zombies), and they won’t stop until there are no more people left to kill. As the group takes a vote on either staying and fighting, or running, they realize that the horses have been torn to shreds. This makes the vote a moot point. Viper then decides to take the fight to the cave where the zombies rest during the day. Annabelle tells him it’s a foolish idea, but they go anyway. Cracker is becoming exceedingly annoyed by Viper and plots a double-cross. As the men make the trek up the side of a mountain, and then into the cave, there is a very uneasy feeling that this was a mistake. Viper and the others see that the townspeople tried to blow up the cave entrance, but were overrun before they could finish the job. Viper leads the men farther and farther into the cave until they come to a shallow pool of water. At this point, they realize that a huge vein of gold resides in the cave that is worth thousands of times more than what was in the town cell. Just as they are about to try and find the wires that they need to attach to complete the blast that will close the cave opening, Viper sees something in the murky waters below his knees. Rating 4/5
OK, first, issue #2 was pretty good, and definitely kept my interest. The story is pretty solid and the conversation between this interracial group is perfect for the time period (late 1800s I’m guessing). You have an Asian guy, a Black guy, an Irish guy, and your stereotypical western types as well. They all seem to be annoyed by each other, but want to get the job done and get paid, so they have tolerated each other so far. Issue #3 I thought was much better than the previous. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there definitely was more action and the scenes in the cave were very creepy and well thought out. Both issues had great artwork from Cho. He really seems to have an intimate understanding of old western scenery. His zombies are very cool, too, especially the white eyes.
Overall, I can’t wait to read the next issue, because it’s going to take a Herculean effort to get back out of the cave with zombies everywhere, darkness, water up to the knees, and explosives all around. Will they get out, or kill each other in the process? There is a great dynamic here with the dual threat of zombies and the outlaws themselves. Hopefully more great action next issue!