The GeeksverseCriminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men

Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men
Published on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 by

Written by: Steve Niles
Art by: Christopher Mitten
Colored by: Michelle Madsen
Lettered by: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
Cover Art: Fiona Staples
Assistant Editor: Daniel Chabon
Editor: Scott Allie

Steve Niles is hit or miss for me. He comes up with some great ideas, but alot of the time the execution of those ideas isn’t as strong. My first exposure to Criminal Macabre was the Free Comic Book Day offering and I enjoyed it so I picked up this one-shot.

There’s a nice text piece at the beginning that explains a little bit about Cal McDonald and his world. We learn that he’s on the side of the ghouls, the undead, and is fighting werewolves, vampires and other monsters. We also learn that everyone around him dies well he lives on.

This one-shot is a transition story. It takes Cal from where his life is now and sets him on the next chapter, which will start in Dark Horse Presents #4. That being said, it means this one-shot was not meant to be new reader friendly, but surprisingly Niles does a great job of making it so. As someone not familiar with Cal and the previous stories, there’s only one instance where that lack of knowledge make a major difference.

And you can still enjoy the story without knowing the full depth of the revelation at the end of who Salem is.

The story itself is about closure of Cal’s previous life and Niles does a good job of leading Cal to the brink. From the opening scene you can feel how Cal is being pushed and how it is wearing on him. Niles provides a chance to wrap up some loose ends of the series, like Cal’s possessed car, and at the same time show Cal that he has done some good in this world.

The story moves quickly and covers alot of ground. Parts of it felt a little too quick, but overall it was a solid read. Old fans would probably get more out of it, but as a new reader it made me interesting in learning more about Cal and where he is going.

Mitten’s art is perfect for this series. It’s got a touch of Mignola which helps with the monster scenes, but Mitten is able to show more emotion. The reader can really see the weariness on Cal.

Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men receives
3.5 out of 5

What’s meant as a transition story from one chapter to the other is still accessible and enjoyable to new readers.

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