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Indie Comic Review: A Debt To The Ceaseless Reaper #1

Westerns are a difficult genre to nail in comics. The medium has been dominated for so long by other genres that it's hard to equate the two. Fantasy, science fiction, and horror are easy. Probably because Westerns were typically associated with films during the rise of the industry. There are notable exceptions however. Ceaseless Reaper doesn't rise to the top of the list, but it is still an enjoyable read with something new to offer.

The story is about a sheriff who guns down his outlaw brother. A bounty hunter comes to collect on the body, which causes the sheriff to go after him. Eventually it's revealed that the bounty hunter has a past connection to the sheriff and is doing all of this out of revenge. From a story standpoint, the narrative flies all over the place. It jumps back and forth between the sheriff, his brother, and the bounty hunter, but it feels jerky. From a technical standpoint, it could also use a good trimming of dialogue as the letterer seemed to have his work cut out for him. Or the artist could have done a better job accommodating dialogue. Either way, the pages tended to get crowded.

The main saving grace is the book's titlular character. The Western nature of the story is played straight up, that's never immediately apparent. The Reaper comes across so mysteriously that it blurs the line between fantasy and reality. It's a good thing for the book's tone, especially given its climactic battle. If anything, the book suffers because he's not in it more, although the possibility for more adventures is certainly left open. In the end, it feels as if The Ceasless Reaper could have used an editor to tighten it up a bit, but I still had enough fun to rule it as a positive read.

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