Dead Vengeance is a four-part series published by Dark Horse Comics. The first issue was released October 2015 with subsequent issues released monthly from November 2015 to January 2016. The series was written and illustrated by Bill Morrison, a native son of Lincoln Park, Michigan.
Steve Colwell, who has served as co-host on several episodes of Horrorlust Radio, turned me onto Dead Vengeance. Steve also hails from Lincoln Park; he and Bill have been friends since childhood. Lincoln Park also happens to be my boyhood home! It’s not every day that you get the chance to read a horror story created by somebody from your hometown, so it only seemed natural to highlight Dead Vengeance here on Horrorlust.
The tale of Dead Vengeance begins in May 1940 at a carnival on the outskirts of Detroit. The very first panel reveals a carnival barker in front of a sideshow tent affixed with a sign that reads, “Cavalcade of Oddities.” Once inside the tent, readers will discover a mummified Fiji Mermaid but more importantly will be introduced to the central protagonist — a pickled man who unconsciously floats inside of a large tank. As the above cover art suggests, our new friend won’t be unconscious for long. And like that, I was sold.
Readers soon learn that Pickled Man is actually Johnny Dover, a one-time popular radio host out of Detroit. So how did this guy end up preserved inside of a tank full of chemicals at a carnival?! In order to find out you’ll just have to snag a copy and read for yourselves, my friends. The story also features a voluptuous fortune teller, a legless freak named Cesar and even Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang! Dead Vengeance is a fun, fast-paced read stuffed with action, intrigue and capped-off with a classic twist in the tradition of EC Comics!
It was neat too that creater, Bill Morrison, gave a nod to his hometown roots with a mention of area cities like Lincoln Park, Wyandotte and Flat Rock. Readers will also recognize familiar Detroit landmarks like the Ambassador Bridge. Dead Vengeance can be found at your local comic shop for $3.99 and should be enjoyed by any lover of horror but especially those who call Southeast Michigan home.