July 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Bento Review: Death Force

A vengeful cop comes back from the dead in this Zenescope book.

Comic Bento’s theme for this month is “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.”  So, yeah, we have a bunch of revenge stories coming up.

First up, we have Death Force from Zenescope.  Wait, Death Force?  Seriously?  It’s called Death Force?  And that’s not an ironic title?

OK…

The last time Comic Bento sent me a Zenescope book, it was something about a modern day version of Red Riding Hood fighting orcs for a secret government agency where her official uniform was a red leather bustier and a hood.  It was, well, mediocre.  Death Force feature a male protagonist, so if you think that means we’ll get a whole book without some female character to ogle, well, check out the computer hacker our hero teams up with.  Or don’t.  “Don’t” is probably the better option.

So, what’s going on?  Well, in West Philadelphia we have rookie cop Rick Murphy.  The mayor and the police chief have made some kind of weird deal with a crime lord called the Black Dragon.  That guy gives the book it’s one standout moment.  We’ve all heard about some guy beating an opponent to death with his own arm.  Well, Black Dragon does something like that, but he doesn’t use the arm as a blunt object, so we have a fresh take on that weird cliched threat.

The only interesting moment in the entire book.

Anyhoo, Murphy, a cop, dies, goes to Hell, and is offered a chance by Death itself to come back as an engine for vengeance since those awful gang types working for Black Dragon also killed Murphy’s pregnant fiancee.  Coming back as some sort of skull-headed guy with a ton of guns and police riot gear, Death Force (yes, he takes that name without a hint of irony) goes on to do the sorts of things you’d think a guy named Death Force would actually do.

There’s really nothing special about this book, considering the main character is like some weird cross between Robocop, the Punisher, and Ghost Rider.  Writer Joe Brusha doesn’t have anything particularly original or interesting to say here, and artist Marc Rosete’s work is functional.  Too many bad guys and nobody worth sympathizing with, the book is about as mediocre as the generic title would suggest. Six out of ten severed arm weapons.

NEXT BOOK:  If it’s from Dynamite, it’s probably licensed.  That may be OK if you’re a fan of the Mercy Thompson novels.  I’ve never read one myself, so we’ll see how that goes.