Route 666 #19 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Tony Bedard
Penciled by: Karl Moline
Inked by: Rick Magyar
Colored by: Will Quintana
Lettered by: Troy Peteri
Editor: N/A
Publisher: CrossGen

666 ways to say boo!

Route 666 is one of the finest reads on the shelves month after month. Tony Bedard continues a sensational streak of winning comic writing. Route 666 is joined by Negation as two of the finest books on the stands, and both are written by Mr. Bedard. There are plenty of horror comics on the stands today, but most are from independent publishers. I’ve sampled quite a few and Route 666 and Image’s The Walking Dead are by far the best.

That was a vacation?

The last three issues of Route 666 have taken a slight step away from the main plotline, which has series lead, Cassie Starkweather, as a conduit capable of seeing the true nature of disguised soul-stealing minions of hell. Sick of Cassie’s exploits, hell has unleashed Tenebrion from retirement to bring her down (literally). While Tenebrion was in hot pursuit the majority of the last few issues have had Cassie involved in somewhat unrelated, yet horrific in their own right, events.

Tony Bedard throws Cassie back into the main plotline again this month. Cassie and her traveling companion Cisco arrive in Marbleton (which bears a strong resemblance to Washington D.C.) and seek out the aid of their “buddy” Agent Melchior of the National Bureau of Investigation. Cassie hopes to bring information on the menace to the majority of United States of Empyrean. With Melchior’s help Cassie gets into the Capitol Building and attempts to make the nation wise to the ambassador from Rodina (the Cold War equivalent of the Soviet Union) being one of the minions of hell.

I request clarification!

Trust me, this book isn’t all that complicated. While the names of places and situations may seem a bit odd, they’re not. Route 666 takes place on the planet of Erebus, but it’s really just like 1950s Earth. Everything is very familiar in its unfamiliarity. In fact, this book is so accessible that it could be picked up without going out and buying all of the previous material. That doesn’t mean the earlier issue aren’t worthy, it’s all really amazing work. It’s just to say, with the limited budgets of most readers, there’s a better chance of someone picking up one issue rather than nineteen to make a sample.

Karl Moline continues to turn out fantastic pencils. He’s given everything about the world of Route 666 a creepy undertone. The book’s all-out horror and Karl Moline has got the look and feel that works. I think a horror book is the type of comic that most succeeds or fails, at least creatively, because of a perfect synthesis between art and writing. Thus the reason I like Route 666 so much.

When a kiss isn’t just a kiss!

If you need some added enticing, pick up this issue for a sneak peak at CrossGen’s upcoming release Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I’m a big James Bond fan, and I love everything about the “60s Spy Genre.” Written by CrossGen’s MVP Tony Bedard, this seven-page preview has got me sold. The action is spectacular, the characters are utterly flawless in design, and the artwork (by Mike Perkins) is nothing short of amazing. It looks like CrossGen, and Tony Bedard, have yet another winner on their hands!