Permadeath Comic Review
Dead Sky Publishing

Humans have always wondered what exists beyond this earthly life. Numerous experiments have been undertaken to determine what happens next and whether we can travel to another, possibly ghostly, realm. Author Jonathan Chance tackles this and the topic of death in his new one-shot Permadeath.

In “The Big Game, a group of elderly men play a risky game, taking turns having an out-of-body experience. This allows them to wander the halls and feel free again. However, one of the men gets into some ill-advised mischief and makes a fatal error.

In “Scattershot, a young man is driven to achieve success in gaming while streaming. However, he pushes himself too far and makes the ultimate sacrifice.

In a one-shot, there is a fine line between ensuring the reader connects with the plot and maintaining a quick pace. There is usually minimal time for filler. While the first half of “The Big Game” is a stroll, the final pages are a full-throttle sprint. I wish the men had started the game sooner because I selfishly wanted to see more spiritual shenanigans, but it was a thrilling, bloody trip once it did.

The art by Rafael Lanhellas (Evil Ernie, Elsewhere) and colors by Damian L Felitte are wonderfully grim, casting shadows that make the retirement home feel closed in and gritty at nightfall. You can understand their enthusiasm for escaping life for a few minutes, even if it means taking extraordinary risks. Landing Chance’s narrative required a graphic climax, which they both delivered.

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“Scattershot” transitions fluidly between the video game and real life, showing that this young man is actually living the game. His obsession is almost unsettling to see, as stories about steamer addiction and sleep deprivation are all too common. As with “The Big Game,” it took a bit to feel the burn, but the final page is painfully beautiful. Dell Barras’ art (Conan the Barbarian, Spider-Man) and Omar Estévez Viveros’ colors complement Chance’s concepts well.

Overall, Permadeath is worth checking out, especially if you enjoy horror one-shots. I reviewed a PDF version but also purchased a physical copy because I’m eager to add it to my collection.

The Dead Sky Publishing comic is now available for preorder and will hit shelves on August 21st.

Permadeath Comic Cover
Dead Sky Publishing


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