Review: ‘R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned’ #3

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Dark Horse Comics’ R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #3 reaches critical peak in the story’s action, as Peter Lenkov and Jeremy Barlow set the stage for the epic finale. And with only one more issue ready for release next month, the dramatic tension is layered on thick with the introduction of a new villainous character, whose blasphemous intentions will surely make for a riveting conclusion that’s not to be missed.

WRITTEN BY: Peter Lenkov, Jeremy Barlow
ART BY: Tony Parker
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: January 30th

The third installment sees the anachronistic old west adventure continue for R.I.P.D. officer Roy Pulsipher and his Puritan partner Crispin Mather, as their investigation into Black Pool reveals the vile culprit behind the missing souls both men are seeking. Lucifuge, a lord of Hell whose raison d’être is to torture “souls so corrupt their very presence fouls the already putrid air,” explains that the worst of them, David Sterling, escaped from his torture sentence and is collecting stray souls via Death train.

A choice needs to be made; sneaking onto said train seems to be their only hope of saving Creation, but by doing so they’d be joining forces with a dark enemy and forsaking their beliefs.

To the casual reader, “R.I.P.D.” is merely a horror-western comedy on its surface, but the strong religious themes and symbols presented by Lenkov, Barlow, and Parker lend themselves to a formidable intensity that the series fantastically projects. Crispin Mather comes off as the more interesting character in this issue, as the writers showcase how far Mather is willing to go to fulfill God’s will. It’s a series that can probably be interpreted as a critique of religious fundamentalism, and it’s blatantly obvious that it’s a subject Barlow loves writing about.

As expected, Tony Parker’s artistic contribution is a definite highlight. Not only does he remain consistent in terms of quality, but he’s definitely upped his game for issue #3 as he showcases more impressive artwork and panels. There’s a fluidity in the action scenes depicted on the pages that’s worth noting, and Michelle Madsen’s colours only add to his fantastic renderings.

The creative team delivers a thrilling issue that’s jam-packed with elements of humor, horror, action and plot development; but the accelerated speed in which the narrative is told will almost make readers feel as though the issue is abridged. On the other hand, this could be the impatience for next month’s installment talking.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – ShadowJayd