Dead Of Winter #4 Review: A Tone So Deaf That It Can't Hear You

The survivors are on their way to save Ruckus from "Officer Friendly." Gabe, Carla, Forest, and Sparky are assembled to infiltrate the sheriff's office where Ruckus is held. Forest is reluctant, but the other three are determined.

After deliberation and planning, the team goes in.

Dead of Winter #4 cover by Brian Hurtt and Bil Crabtree
Dead of Winter #4 cover by Brian Hurtt and Bil Crabtree

I've not played the tabletop game the Dead of Winter comic is based upon. I'm generally not too interested in tabletop board games; Magic: The Gathering, comics, and the occasional videogame purchase already take up enough the money I should be saving as well as the time I should be using to write.

I don't see why that should be relevant to my judgement of this comic, but I like to be transparent with my prior interactions with a property.

In any case, I've more or less been affiliated with this property before in a different way. It's called The Walking Dead. There's more humor focus on quirky humor and a vastly different aesthetic style with Dead of Winter for sure, but it's comics is pretty much The Walking Dead.

That feeling of being here before is a problem on its own, but, if it did something unique with its similarities, it wouldn't be as big a problem. However, Dead of Winter is almost aggressively conventional.

Its characters are vague archetypes. Its humor is painfully ill-timed and—well, not particularly funny. Its tone is non-existent with characters on the verge of death followed by a joke about Forest being useless.

And the art is barebones. Nothing is especially well-detailed; the cutesy pseudo-Scott Pilgrim style does not fit with whatever the narrative tone is trying to accomplish. The coloring is aptly greyed out, but that's assuming this is supposed to be a gritty survival story. It may not be; this may be intended as a Walking Dead satire. If so, it doesn't accomplish that.

I don't feel great eviscerating a comic like this, but, frankly, it doesn't work on almost any level. The finale to it, without spoiling anything, is a rather manipulative play on readers' emotions, and it feels very hollow. The tone is so all over the place that I'm not sure what the intent of the comic was. Steer clear of this one. Even if you are a fan of the tabletop game, it's still not worth a read.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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