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Dead Mans Hand 1 Main

"Dead Man's Hand #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Lawdog Comics


Written and illustrated by James Heffron
Additional illustrations by Rowel Roque
Inked and toned by Luis Czerniawski
Colored by Jason Millet
Lettered by J.C. Ruiz
2017, 28 Pages


You've heard of people biting their own arm off to escape a trap, right? What about people waking up in a bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing? Dead Man's Hand plays with some of those tropes, putting a supernatural spin on them. See, Charles wakes up in a bathtub with a new hand. This one is covered in strange runes. A recording gives him some background, letting him know he's now part of an elaborate plot and if he wants to survive, he'll have to play along.

Dead Man's Hand wastes no time letting us know just how dangerous this strange hand is. This is not like Idle Hands where this thing is going to start picking his nose or something. This is far more sinister. There's a bit of body horror in here, as Charles can't really trust his own limbs now. That, coupled with the mystery he's been thrown into makes for an interesting blend of thriller and terror.

Click images to enlarge

Charles is little more than a pawn in this game right now. We're not super invested in his life, as we don't know much about him, but his situation is so harrowing that you can't help but get pulled in. Writer/artist James Heffron expertly showcases Charles' absolute fear at this turn of events. He has a permanent look of shock on his face, with an undercurrent of rage.

There's a lot of information to take in throughout this debut issue, yet it flows at a nice pace. Letterer J.C. Ruiz guides us through all this in an efficient manner that keeps our eye focused on each frightening aspect of the story.

I'm not sure what artist Rowel Roque also handled in Dead Man's Hand #1, but between the two artists, the imagery is very solid. This is helped by Luis Czerniawski, highlighting the great detail work. You can see the stubble on Charles' face and head, giving him a grizzled look that hardens his features.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Jason Millet maintains the thriller aesthetic with a bright palette, adding a level of intensity to each scene. The shadows still loom in this dreary hotel room, casting a dark cloud over Charles both literally and metaphorically.

Dead Man's Hand is like Saw meets Crank. It's a horror thriller that delivers a solid blend of genres. We're just getting started with this debut issue. The hook is so gripping that you will be begging for more.


Story: fourstars Cover

Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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