James Maddox– Writer
Gavin Smith– Illustrator
Marissa Louise– Colours
Ryan Ferrier– Letters
Dead Legends is a wonderful read!
We’re first introduced to Blind Tiger and Ushi Nakamura, Blind Tiger is a bad boy with a score to settle. They quarrel in the street and unbeknownst to Blind Tiger he kicks off an intense chain of events! Dead Legends goes on to set up the story of the ‘Red Death’ a kick ass lady Kung Fu legend.. or so we think!
It all kicks off..
Flash forward a few months and we are up in the mountains at an exclusive fighting tournament. We meet the mysterious ‘Red Death’ but shortly after she arrives ANOTHER fighter arrives also claiming to be the infamous ‘Red Death’. She wastes no time in demonstrating her devastating fighting skills and soon the identity of the imposter is revealed!
Dead Legends feels like a homage to wonderful kung fu movies, of rival gangs fighting on the streets, before arriving at the tournament to end all tournaments.
I love the visuals in Dead Legends especially the fight sequences. The flow from panel to panel seamlessly, it is as if you are watching the fight play out right in front of you. The panels are incredibly detailed, the backgrounds in particular have been crafted with care and attention. There is so much life in every panel and they create a real sense of atmosphere. The colours are particularly well chosen, they are vivid and go on to amplify the 80’s vibe that runs throughout the whole piece.
The overall aesthetic of Dead Legends really draws you in, it is incredibly immersive read that just grabs on and draws you in right from the get go. The use of the panel space is really interesting, the characters dominate the panels and over spill the panels. It is not strict and laid out in 9 x 9 boxes but flows between the pages. The narrative and visuals work very well together flowing like a river of action through the edition.
Maddox has created a rich and intricate tale that any fans of the kung fu films of the 80’s will be powerless to resist! Dead Legends is well constructed and well executed and you can feel the heart and love that Maddox has poured into it. This is the ideal comic for fans of The Karate Kid and Bloodsport.