This review originally ran on Comics Bulletin
(Matt O'Keefe/Arisyahrazad/Cecilia La Tella/Sam Tung/Pat Loika)
Let there be no mistake, the Devil is one tricky motherfucker. He'll promise you all kinds of things -- sweet, desirable, luscious things - but whatever succulent or savory service he provides, eventually you will rue the day you made that deal.
You want eternal youth? Sure, you can have it, but you never said anything about staving off the degeneration of your mind engendered by old age. You want eternal life? Sure, you can have it, but you never said anything about staying young. It never pays off, when you dance with Mr. D.
This is the Devil that we meet in Matt O'Keefe's Deadless #0, the douchebag devil, the evil motherfucker. Deadless #0 contains four short stories, each illustrated by different artists, each telling the tale of some poor sap who has made a deal with Azil, the devil, who is subsequently trying to figure out a way to get out of it. This leads to the formation of a team who are working with the Devil to try to get out of their bargains, the titular Deadless.
While none of this is anything new (I'm reminded of Satan's Six, for example), Deadless #0 is a fun, interesting read. As a lead in to a four issue miniseries, Deadless #0 does a great job of introducing characters, setting stakes, and raising issues that make for piqued interest. I like the fact that the Devil O'Keef introduces is all about being an evil bastard. I like how O'Keef is able to bring a depth and complexity to the characters in a very short amount of time, without relying too much on clichés or didacticism. These are desperate people, desperate to die, and it is this desperation that makes them so intriguing.
Of special note is the art of Sam Tung, whose work shines in the story "Unfriendly" a rather clever take on the Casper the Friendly Ghost tale.
It's my understanding that Matt O'Keefe is shopping Deadless around to publishers. I hope he finds somebody as I would love to read this series.
You can download Deadless #0 for FREE here.
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