Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: N/A
Written by: Tony Bedard
Pencilled by: Karl Moline
Inked by: Drew Geraci
Colored by: Nick Bell
Lettered by: Troy Peteri
Publisher: CrossGen Comics
I’ve read a number of CrossGen comics over the course of the last year, but ROUTE 666 is the only one that I continue to buy on a monthly basis. CrossGen comics tend to read better in the trade paperback format, and that’s how I plan to follow series like SCION and SOJOURN. That said there’s no way I would move towards trades and stop my monthly fix of 666!
Published for nearly a year now, ROUTE 666 follows the adventures of Cassie Starkweather, who has the â€œgiftâ€ of seeing supernatural beings that masquerade as â€œrealâ€ people. The story takes place on the planet Erebus a setting that evokes 1950’s America; the conflict arises from the fact that the villains are in fact soul stealers. Cassie through a series of encounters with these beings, in which she was forced to kill, has found herself a fugitive from justice. Thus the road trip through this strange but recognizable land.
Cassie’s latest adventure finds her under the big top of a circus whose inhabitant’s sole purpose is eradicating these same beings. The carneys eagerly recruit Cassie, and her travelling companion Cisco, who was formerly a g-man tailing Cassie. The circus folk remind me of the crew that Boston Brand interacted with in the Deadman stories by Neal Adams of the 60’s, which are truly classic horror stories. The unexpected turn for Cassie on the last few pages sends her in a very different direction. The twists and turns in the road for Cassie have kept this comic fresh and exciting, and highlighted the horror elements significantly.
The character’s Tony Bedard has created are a big reason why ROUTE 666 has worked so well for me. Cassie runs into new and interesting people frequently within the series, and the book never gets bogged down in one setting for too long. The most interesting characters in the current storyline are The Twins, a pair of freaky looking girls, which have radar like senses for rooting out the bad guys.
Karl Moline’s and Drew Geraci’s pencils and inks have the gritty tone that works very well in the horror genre. Moline has little trouble showing a variety of emotions in his art, especially fear and indecision, which is very important for a book like this. The use of shadow builds tension and hides certain details, yet the book is never too dark.
If you’re a fan of horror, give ROUTE 666 a try! Pick up the first trade, which recently was released, or just grab an issue. I doubt you’ll be disappointed!