Reader Beware Month: R. I. P. D.

Today’s comic isn’t entirely related to horror.  It’s more of a (pretty much) straight forward cop story with a twist.  What’s the twist?  The cop is dead.  As you know, my fellow fans of horror, death is not always the end of the story.  Sometimes, it’s just the beginning.  This is the Rest In Piece Department.

Nick Cruz is the dead detective in question.  He was murdered while on a routine drug bust with his partner.  But he doesn’t know who did it and would give anything to solve the mystery.  Enter the RIPD, self-described police force of God.  They put demons that escaped from Hell back where they belong.  Cruz trades a 100 years of his afterlife for a chance at solving the mystery of his death.  Good timing, too, as there’s a demon out there who threatens the very fabric of reality…

I first heard of this comic when I saw the trailer for the movie staring Ryan Reynolds.  When I learned that said movie was based on a comic, I just had to read this thing for myself.  Having read it now, and only having seen the trailer for a movie, I’ll tell you this.  The comic and the movie are about as different as you can get in regards to adaptation.  The stories and basic elements seem to be almost completely different.  Not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but there you go.

Focusing on the comic, I do like the story quite a bit.  I’ve always been a fan of detective stories.  Making the detective a ghost is icing on the cake for me.  (It’s one of the reasons I like Ghost Trick.)  The story is very well paced, taking time to build itself up a little before really letting loose with the action.  It also keeps the story as light-hearted as possible, almost seeming a bit goofy at times.  The world that the comics creates is also fascinating to watch unfold.

Even though this seems to have been only a short series collected in one trade copy, a good amount of room was given for the characters to develop.  Cruz becomes a very sympathetic character.  His partner, gun-totin’ cowboy Powell, is a badass from the moment he walks into frame.  Even the main bad guy(s) of the piece get pretty good development.  Granted, they’re still evil pricks, but they’re awesome evil pricks.

The artwork for the book is fantastic.  It almost feels like it’s a book fully ready to become an animated series at any time.  It is very well detailed and all the characters have very cool designs.  My personal favorites are the demons, who are especially creative.

This is one detective comic you should not miss.  I highly recommend it to anyone curious about supernatural cop stories.  It’s well written, well drawn, and well paced.  You’ll be begging for them to make a series out of it.  As to the movie version, I’m probably gonna watch it with the mindset that the two have nothing to do with each other.  If I compare it to the book too much, I might want to throw everyone who worked on it in jail.

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