A Year of Cool Comics – Day 183
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at Tony Bedard and Karl Moline’s Route 666…
The basic set-up for Route 666 is that a teenaged girl during the 1950s in middle America discovers that she can speak to dead people and wackiness ensues.
Of course, it’s worth noting that since this was Crossgen, it is not really the 1950s in middle America, exactly, but rather in the present on an alien world that just appears like 1950s’ America (just like other worlds look like Victorian England, ancient China, etc.). But that’s really neither here nor there – for the sake of this piece, let’s just pretend it is 1950s United States of America.
The book opens up with a striking sequence of events that shows you the macabre humor that would make up the bulk of the series…
Our heroine, Cassie, often causes horrific accidents through bad luck.
However, Cassie can also speak to the dead – and she is their only protection against the evil spirits of the afterlife!!
Of course, when Cassie tells others about this, she is institutionalized. She is attacked at the asylum, but the ghost of her grandfather saves her…
Now Cassie can see the demons who walk among us…
Once she escapes, since no one else can tell that the people hunting her down are demons, she becomes known as the world’s worst serial killer.
Her only friend is a sheriff who believes her (even though she led to the death of his son through her bad luck “powers”) – he is looking for a child to replace his dead son and she is looking for a parental figure, so their relationship clicks.
They travel the country together while on the run…
Presumably, had the series continued we would have seen more of this – traveling the country, going to different places and having various adventures…
Bedard creates some endearing characters here, and the cleverness of the demons on Earth taking the shape of recognizable movie monsters? Hilarious.
There’s a good deal of social commentary about the 50s, as well (there is a whole lot of Cold War stuff going on).
Karl Moline’s art, though – wow, it is really quite excellent in the series, as you can see above. He is so dynamic while also being a great artist as far as characterization and expressions go. He should get more mainstream assignments! He is great (the fill-in artists on the series were good, too)!
Who owns the rights to this series? Is it Disney? If so, they should totally let Marvel bring this series back! At least collect it into trades! Was it ever collected at all (there are about 20-odd issues over the two years the book ran, 2002-2004)?