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A little less magic in this issue, but a whole hell of a lot more action. Alabaster Graves finds deeper meaning to his true calling as he rushes to save Marissa from her impending doom at the hands of dead man.
When we last left Graves he was about to go into a swamp to kill one of the oldest living werewolves. He needs to stab it in the heart with a silver needle in order to kill Fallow with it. One of the white witches gives him a way to find the beast and Graves sets out to either kill or be killed. In an intense scene of action Graves is blindsided by the werewolf and forced underwater. There he sits and waits for his chance to strike. Just as the werewolf gets close, Graves jumps from the water and stabs him with the silver needle. The werewolf transforms into a man and begs to be killed before changing again. Graves doesn’t hesitate for a moment as he slits the man’s throat.
He makes his way back to the white witch camp only to discover that the hunters that were waiting on him… aren’t waiting on him. They took off to face Fallow on their own and were dispatched by a group of Vampires that Fallow has recruited to help him. Now Graves must go against Fallow alone to save Marissa, but not before being drugged by the leader of the white witches. In his psychedelic dream he is on the river Styx and must transport the dead. It’s revealed that all his dealings with the undead, vampires and the rest of the world’s monsters are to actually help them cross over.
Back at Fallow’s decrepit plantation home, he pours out his soul to Marissa explaining why he’s going to kill her and take her families powers. Fallow has been alive since the Civil War and the plantation house they are standing in, was once his family’s home. Fallow actually owned Marissa’s great-great-grandmother and father until they rose up and killed him. But Fallow didn’t die, and when he was dug out of his casket after being buried alive he found he could control the dead. In order to keep living he has to steal the flesh of the living.
This issue deals a lot with the back story of both the hero and the villain which is good. The action is so heavy throughout the issue that the back stories act as a break from said action and gives the story a lot more value. John Heffernan puts a lot of details into the characters and makes sure to explain them in the same amount of care so that the reader can enjoy them as much as he clearly did. The only issue with the writing is the “James Bond Villain” moment when Fallow explains his evil master plan only for the sake of the audience. It’s needed for the audience to truly hate and despise Fallow, but I think just a flashback would have been better.
The art is great, with a lot of detail to the gore and the monsters. Leonardo Manco is a top talent for horror comics and I hope to see more of his work in the genre in the future. His werewolf in particular was an awesome site to see. The towering beast looked cooled, but at the same time very scary and intimidating. Manco also has quite the talent for drawing decomposing flesh which may not be the best compliment, but with so much of the story revolving around the undead it become an important part to the artwork.
Driver concludes with this issue, but hopefully it’s not the last adventure of Alabaster Graves. The ground work for the series is so extensive that it would be a shame not to return to the world and further the adventure. If you like action and a mix of hoodoo magic and horror, then I highly recommend this issue and series to you. I’m sure that if you missed out on the first two issues that Radical will collect the series into a trade. If you have been following the series then this issue is worth the price of admission.
Story – 8.7
Plot – 9.5
Art – 9.7
Overall – 9.3