Dark Horse explores the life…or rather, unlife, of Johnny Dover. You see, Johnny got in a bit of trouble and through circumstances unknown ended up on a freak show display as a preserved body. The comic starts with the freak show. I enjoyed how it paid tribute to traditional freak show objects of legend (such as the Fiji mermaid and two headed animals). A couple kids arrive at Johnny’s preservation tube and begin to joke about a chant that awakens the dead. Unfortunately, it turns out this chant may have had more power associated with it than the freak show attendees realize. Within moments Johnny has clambered out of his tube and is running amok in the circus. Now Johnny, if that’s his real name… he can’t really recall, but he’s fairly certain that he’s Johnn Dover. Anyway, Johnny doesn’t understand all the fuss everyone is making about him. Sure, he smells unusual and his joints aren’t moving as freely as they used to but it’s not weird to see a man wandering about in his…wait, he’s in underpants. Where did his clothing go? He wonders as he stumbles into a road way, causing the startled motorist to crash into a nearby tree. It’s this accident that gives Johnny the chance to see himself in a mirror. The shock of seeing a sunken faced, gray skinned, sickly reflection cues the former talk show mastermind into trying to discover just WHAT has happened to him.
How Johnny died, who killed him, and what has become of his family is the story the readers will watch unfold. He has been dead for a decade, and a lot can happen in ten years.
This follows the old murder mystery themes that were so popular in the forties and fifties. It reminds me a lot of a merger between Sherlock Holmes and 1950’s style Private Eye comics. The art work is simple and clean. Writer and artist Bill Morrison clearly wants you to focus on the plot line without being overly distracted by the art work. If anything, this short comic series will be a quick delight and a wonderful reprieve from comics whose themes have turned darker and more psychotic in recent months (y’know…the whole DC franchise and their obsession with killing off characters…then telling you it was just a psychotic dream of a delirious Joker and revealing the true plot, blah, blah, blah). This comic is due be released October 07, 2015 so be sure to pick up a copy and follow the four part short story of Dead Vengeance.
Writer: Bill Morrison
Penciller: Bill Morrison
Inker: Keith Champagne
Cover Artist: Bill Morrison
Publication Date: October 07, 2015