Posted on July 3, 2008 by Monica Valentinelli
Before I get into the review of Death Walks the Streets, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the history of this comic. I had met the horror geniuses of Scream Factory at Wizard World Chicago 2008 where they were kind enough to introduce me to their horror comics. Some of those lines have a connection to the film industry, and Death Walks the Streets is no exception. The film and its sequel entitled, “The Long December” are both in production. Here’s a quote from the comic:
Death Walks the Streets: The Comic Book is both a prequel and an extension of the cinematic world soon to be revealed. Set three years before the events of that (the upcoming movie’s) first screenplay — think of Issue 0 as the “pilot” episode this prelude is an introduction to a much bigger world. — James Zahn and Ben Brezinski, June 2008
So what is Death Walks the Streets? Imagine a world where the mob is alive and kicking, taking full advantage of the political machine through IBVM Union Local 666. While that may sound frightening enough, the mob isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. In the world where the city of New Marshall exists, you might have to decide between fighting bad guys or monsters. Werewolves, demons, zombies and vampires are the other threat to the world, and who better to get in their way than a team of folk who work for the mob.
In this prequel issue, the story is about the contrast between the harm people cause to other people, and the harm that comes from evil beyond our understanding. Told in a very cinematic style with artwork to match, we first meet Danielle, a strong female character who works with Malcolm and Michael for the Organization. Sent to “take care of business,” they hunt down a man named Peter Moore. In a typical suspense-filled mob movie, you might expect that Peter had already met an untimely death. Here’s where the story takes a supernatural turn because instead of the monsters you know–it’s the creatures you don’t.
I thought the writing was particularly good in this comic, because every line had some value to what the comic was trying to portray. Here’s an example:
In a world where death stalks the streets… One must ask themselves what is truly frightening. Is it the monster under your bed… the skeleton in your closet… an unseen evil… Or the atrocities committed by your fellow man?
The contrast between criminal and supernatural is one of the reasons why I would follow the series and go see the movie. Having been inundated with mafia after mob film, I’ve been a little “fed up” with the medium for some time. Not so with this one, however, because I expect that the story will take a very tired idea and play around with what it means for the characters. From what I’ve seen and read here, this is not a hack and slash type of a film; I predict that we might see some morality plays, character growth and conflict and a head-to-head battle between our world and an ancient evil named Abaddon.
The convention exclusive cover art was created by Mark Kidwell and Milen Parvanov. As I mentioned earlier, the scenes and the artwork fit the cinematic feel to the story. The action-filled scenes mixed with setting descriptions were highlighted by the interior “jewel-toned” artwork produced by a team of Guilherme Balbi, Alex Silva, Javier Tartaglia and Kurt Hathaway. For the collector, the editors chose to include concept art, produced by Guilherme Balbi and set designs from Gregory Hill.
For more information about Death Walks the Streets, be sure to visit The Scream Factory on MySpace.