After what may have been the series’ best issue so far, Death Head returns for its fifth issue.

Is it good?

Death Head #5 (Dark Horse Publishing)

The Plot

  • Whenever a mom says “It’ll be fine,” to a kid in a horror story, things are definitely not going go smoothly.
  • That goes double when the kid was just wearing an ancient/cursed mask and is experiencing a massive nosebleed.
  • …and when he keeps walking off cliffs.
  • So Gas Mask Guy and The Dad are friends now? That’s nice I guess…
  • We get to learn a bit more about the Plague Doctor(s), including their ghoulish dimensional transport system.
  • Hey kid, when a ghost is trying to help you…and has you in midair…it’s a good idea not to insult her. Good thing your fall was broken by some poor paneling.
  • And speaking of poor paneling, it strikes again at the end of the issue, killing a beautiful moment along with a (potentially great) cliffhanger.

Is It Good?

The art on this issue really shines. The writing…not so much.

First of all, I really don’t see how Gas Mask Man can go from almost murdering The Dad last issue to becoming the eccentric/tragic part of a buddy cop team. I get that they bonded over how much they loved their families (over the course of three pages), but I don’t think that translates to cracking jokes and working together in such a high stress situation within 24 hours.

Also, the paneling thing really got to me. How does The Son go from falling from pretty high up in one panel to sitting in a bush and completely unharmed in the next?

And how does…eh….I can’t spoil it, but the very last panel makes no sense considering what happened right before it. (Hint: You should probably run away at this point).

What’s really frustrating is the Kellers set up that cliffhanger with a really beautiful moment. These guys can write some great scenes (like the opening), but the overall plot is starting to slip away. It’s getting to the point where the mystery of the Plague Doctor(s) is becoming more irritating than intriguing…although I did find a couple of Dad and Gas Mask’s discoveries pretty interesting.

Let’s hope Death Head can start giving us some better information (and page layouts) in 2016.

Death Head #5 Review
Great artwork, especially in the opening scene.A really beautiful moment between The Daugher and Lena...
...which gets kind of ruined by some confusing paneling decisions at the end of the issue. More paneling issues plague the middle part of the story, as well.From one about to murder the other to buddy cops in less than 24 hours?The Plague Doctor(s) mystery is going from interesting to irritating.
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