Review - R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #3

Escaping from hell is never good for anyone but the escapee. Such an escape merits quite a following of all manner of beings to track said escapee down. That following gets a wee bit more serious when that escapee has intentions as evil as that of the David Sterling in R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #3 from Dark Horse.

The issue is written by Jeremy Barlow, with art by Tony Parker, colors by Michelle Madsen and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft.

Roy Pulsipher and his Puritan partner Crispin Mather continue their investigation into Black Pool. Things aren't what they seem and the duo quickly find that Lucifuge is after the same target. That target is the aforementioned Sterling, a being who escaped from his torture sentence in hell and has taken up collecting stray souls via the Death Train. There's a bargain to be made amongst the three of them to find Sterling, a bargain that requires them to sneak onto the train to save Creation.

Featuring Roy and Crispin in an alliance with Lucifuge is quite a turn of events. To this point, it's been implied that the smoke being was tracking the duo, but it turns out he needs them as much as they need him. Sterling is made out to be a truly terrible being who must be stopped and Barlow does a great job getting this point across. The fact that Lucifuge tortures “souls so corrupt their very presence fouls the already putrid air" and that he hesitates to say Sterling's name really says it all.

Parker's art is very reminiscent of his work on Dead Man's Run and both involve getting out of hell. His style is both is very similar and shows a darkness that reminds you the book isn't exactly the happiest tale out there. His work really flows despite the coarseness of the illustrations. Lucifuge in particular billows and belches evil, all of which is shown rather excellently by Parker.

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #3 has got a spaghetti-western vibe mixed in with a little Ghostbusters. The stakes are pretty high in the story, but the dialogue is pretty lighthearted at times which makes the book read better. It's an interesting tale that has the stakes raised extremely high with the last panel reveal, so at the very least Roy Pulsipher will have his hands full in the next issue.

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #3 is in stores now with interiors below.