Comics Review: "The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael" #1
- by Ninja Ross, 25 February 2015
When Sergio Leone directed "A Fistful of Dollars", he helped kickstart the Spaghetti Western genre. Even now, his influence is felt throughout pop culture in movies, books, TV shows, music and so on.
When you kill enough people, you end of up with a few enemies, including the town of Corinth. After a few too many run ins with Ichabod, the townspeople of Corinth hire a bounty hunter by the name of Bloody Bill, who’s reputation is almost as fearsome as Ichabod’s.
But Ichabod isn’t all that bad; he does behave around his lady friend, who we are briefly introduced to after a few blood soaked pages. While a little bit cliché, it doesn’t feel overdone. It nicely humanises Ichabod.
And then BLAM! Ichabod is killed during a shootout with Bloody Bill... That’s the end of that! Except no it’s not, because Ichabod is just too darn mean to die. At least, he doesn’t plan to stay dead long.
This is where the meat of the book is; with Ichabod thrown into a colourless limbo, ready to be escorted by riders known as “Blurred Ones” to his final resting place. With his guns empty, Ichabod should have no choice but to comply.
The story doesn’t fall flat at any point, it just keeps moving at a deliberate pace, making sure you soak up everything. When the action hits, however, it’s hard hitting and fun. It’s an incredibly well told story.
The art isn’t too bad, either. In fact, it’d be hard to find a better artist than Dom Reardon for a book like this. Reardon’s gritty style is a perfect match for the tone set by William’s story.
Reardon’s art is nicely horrible, giving the book a very dirty, violent feel. All of that is, of course, a good thing. It looks very much like a classic Spaghetti Western
Peter Doherty’s colours are a key part of what makes this book so great looking, helping to enhance Reardon’s work. Although the colour is absent in the limbo world, it does come back every so often in flashbacks and when we’re shown what’s happening in the mortal world. And when the colours do show up again, they’re very striking and offer quite a contrast between the two worlds.
If you’re looking for a new Western to get into (who isn’t, right?), this is it. It looks great! It reads well! What more could you possibly want from a comic book?!?
There you have it. 2000AD killing it again. Have you read the first issue of Ichabod Crane? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!