Title: Road of Bones #1
Words: Rich Douek
Art: Alex Cormack
Published: May 22, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: In 1953, the Siberian Gulag of Kolyma is hell on Earth—which is why Roman Morozov leaps at the chance to escape it. But even if they make it out, Roman and his fellow escapees still have hundreds of miles of frozen tundra between them and freedom. With the help of a mysterious being straight out of his childhood fairy tale stories, Roman just might make it—or is the being simply a manifestation of his brutal circumstances driving him insane?
You had me at: Siberian gulag escape. It should come as no surprise that anyone with a boot on their neck would want to get out while the getting is good; when the chance to escape the work camp arises, our protagonist does what he must to escape his oppressors, all the while, of course, there is a sinister force of some sort lurking in the shadows, watching his every move.
Writer Rich Douek immediately grabs readers and begins tugging on their heartstrings, and filling them with anxiety, in this series debut; just two pages in, and blood is shed. Road of Bones hits hard. This tale is one of suffering and torment, and somehow, Douek has managed to make it thrilling.
Even in scenes that take place in dimly-lit interiors (and there are a few), artist Alex Cormack manages to pack panels with detail that effectively grounds readers in what would otherwise be an unimaginable setting. Despite consisting mostly of scenes where characters are simply conversing, Cormack’s facial expression work, as well as his panel layouts, keep the story moving at an impressive pace.
Road of Bones is off to a promising start; come issue’s end, it becomes clear that this series is going to continue to evolve into something that is both thrilling and horrifying.
Presented here is a tale of suffering; the kind that clings the soul and lines the walls of soon-to-be black hearts. Road of Bones #1 is an impressive debut issue and a must-read for Horror fans.