Making A New Title Feel Like A Compelling Reboot With Dead Rabbit #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Dead Rabbit is out of retirement. Megan is sick, and Martin is out of money. To pay the hospital bills, Martin looked up his old driver, Wheels, and the two plan a heist at the bank Dead Rabbit used to hit up all those years ago. Unfortunately, neither man is what they used to be, and the heist goes awry. Meanwhile, the mafia still thinks Dead Rabbit stole from them, and they aren’t going to let it go.

Dead Rabbit #2 cover by John McCrea
Dead Rabbit #2 cover by John McCrea

The setup for Dead Rabbit is immediately compelling. A former prolific bank robber coming out of retirement because it’s really hard to not be broke in 2018. Making Martin tired, frustrated, and drowning in medical bills is perhaps the most 2018 thing I’ve read this year.

I’m not sure if this makes me dumb or the comic weirdly brilliant, but I could’ve sworn that Dead Rabbit was a revival of an older comic series. The setup–a former masked criminal coming out of retirement for the first time since 1997–had me convinced that this was originally a 1990’s comic series. There was even a draft of this review with me disclosing that I hadn’t read the original series. Regardless, it’s not a reboot; it’s just kind of written like one. It is kind of brilliant in a way; reboots and revivals are the names of the game these days, so playing at being one forced into being by financial hardships taps into the zeitgeist on many levels.

That aside, Martin is a great character. He’s a smartass and impulsive, but he’s just clever enough to make it through his schemes alive. Wheels is a broke smartass too, and it’s impossible not to feel for the guy.

The big set piece of the issue is a big car chase that goes very wrong. The manner in which it plays out is a brilliant work of comic scripting from Gerry Duggan as well as the phenomenal artwork of John McCrea.

Dead Rabbit #2 art by John McCrea, Mike Spicer, and letterer Joe Sabino
Dead Rabbit #2 art by John McCrea, Mike Spicer, and letterer Joe Sabino

McCrea’s artwork throughout is top-notch. The first big splash page of this issue sets up Dead Rabbit to be an iconic character. He is posed like a classic character, and the look is distinct enough to sell it. Mike Spicer’s color work is well-balanced and keeps the tone grounded. It sells the metropolitan vibe of Boston very well.

Dead Rabbit #2 is a fast-moving and thoroughly compelling first heist for the revived masked thief. This comic drips with personality, humor, and energy. It’s a fantastic read and easily worthy of a recommendation. Give this one a read.

Dead Rabbit #2 comes to us from writer Gerry Duggan, artist John McCrea, color artist Mike Spicer, letterer Joe Sabino, cover artist John McCrea, and variant cover artist David O’Sullivan.

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