THE PIPER – ONE SHOT
Story: Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco
Writer: Ralph Tedesco
Artist: Allan Otero
Colorist: Studio Cirque
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover A: Angel Medina and Thomas Mason
Cover B: Rich Bonk and Jason Embury
Editor: Ralph Tedesco
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Previously in The Dream Eater Saga: The Dream Eater was released, most everyone was scared. The Dream Eater killed the Queen(s) of Hearts and is now after his second victim, The Piper.
We open on a brief retelling of the original tale of the Pied Piper, hired to get the rats out of Hamelin Town, and when the townsfolk refused to pay he took the children instead and drowned them. Here is where the comic breaks from most traditional tellings of the story as the townsfolk retaliate and drown the Piper as well. Of course that didn’t last and we flash-forward to present day as the Piper does his work: killing. As the story begins, he is fulfilling the revenge wish of an old man who lost his wife to a drunk driver, however it is not the driver that is dying here (presumably he’s already dead) but the doctor that couldn’t save the man’s wife and family. After the old man asks why he would kill the innocents, the Piper explains there are no innocents and sets up his own origin story, which is kind of interesting.
Apparently the Piper had been in love and when he and his beloved are found together he is accused of rape. Suffering and surviving the tortures her family puts him through he learns of his power and summons hordes of beasts to kill them. He’s shown to be even crazier when, while begging him to stop, he eviscerates his love with his own flute.
With his story told and job completed he takes his payment (what I can only assume is either the old man’s soul or his life essence) and leaves to find the Dream Eater waiting for him. The Dream Eater, being the overwhelming bad ass that he is reaches down the Pipers throat and takes the “soul” back and restores the old man. A battle ensues in which the Piper does get one good lick in but to no real avail. Fortunately, for him at least, he is summoned away at the last moment by the next player on the stage.
The artwork is solid. There wasn’t anything that truly wowed me in this issue, but there also wasn’t anything that really bothered me. There were points that were better than others and points that were worse, but nothing in here sticks out as specifically noteworthy and as an overall piece, it was simply good.
BOTTOM LINE: SURE
Unlike the previous issue in the story arc, we actually get some real substance here, and while that substance isn’t the best I’ve read it was still good. I guess the best description I have for this is rather than being underwhelmed and disappointed or overwhelmed and elated, I am simply “whelmed” and satisfied. This sense of “whelming” earns the book a decent 3 out of 5 stars.