Dead Men Walking - Image Comics Pick of the Week: Stillwater #1 Reviewed


Photo Courtesy of Image Comics  

Stillwater is a town that appears to be plucked right out of Americana; An old-fashioned diner, kids playing in the streets, a town where everyone knows each other. Nestled away in the woods, off a back road, and with no street signs pointing the way, Daniel West is about to discover that Stillwater may not be as easy-going as it appears, for within the borders of the town, death is not only temporary, it is irrelevant. Stillwater #1 (written by Chip Zdarsky, Art by Ramon K) in an intriguing introduction to a story that feels like it would be right at home in an episode of The Twilight Zone. This debut spends the majority of it’s time introducing us to its characters, and slowly unraveling the world it exists in. 

The story begins with Daniel getting fired from his job for physically confronting one of his co-workers. What follows is a drunken night out at a club ending with Daniel getting knocked out by the bouncer. Daniel awakens the next day to a knock at his door and Stillwater instantly takes a step from the normal to the strange. A man delivers a golden letter requesting Daniel’s presence in Stillwater to receive an inheritance from his great-grand-aunt. Daniel grabs his buddy Tony and the two set out on a roadtrip to Stillwater. While the first issue is not exactly action-packed, it does create a certain vibe. Stillwater is a grounded story that is slowly pushing itself into dark territory. 

Photo Courtesy of Image Comics

A colorful cast of townsfolk are introduced once Daniel arrives in Stillwater, most notably a foreboding doctor and a playful yet stern police officer. It is unclear as of now what role these characters will play in the coming tale, but Zdarsky certainly sets his story up to have multiple different paths it could head down. The first issue takes a turn for the violent when Daniel and Tony encounter Stillwater’s immortality granting powers first hand. An intriguing cliffhanger at the end of the issue is a decent enough hook. It is not immediately obvious exactly what direction Stillwater is going, and for that matter what type of book it will end up being. A developing mystery, with a splash of horror, and a bit of Zdarsky’s trademark humor should combine for a worthwhile read. 


- Neil Hazel