With his wife back in hospital and being presented a five figure medical bill, the former bank robber known as Dead Eyes (Martin Dobbs) faces a dilemma – go back on his promise to his ailing wife to give up his life of crime, or get back at the elites and their toadies by milking them for as much as they can provide. Will he succeed without getting a bullet for his efforts? Find out in your Major Spoilers review of Dead Eyes #2 from Image Comics!
Writer: Gregory Duggan
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 6th, 2019
Previously in Dead Eyes: Retired for twenty years after finding the love of his life, medical bills and boredom have driven Martin Dobbs to don the Dead Eyes mask and begin his Robin Hood-style rampages again. But with the mafia on his trail for millions, and money tighter by the day, can this urban legend return to his old tricks?
TAKING DOWN THE 1% ONE BANK ROBBERY AT A TIME
When Martin Dobbs’ wheelman turns up drunk, it seems that Dead Eyes’ return to crime is dead on arrival. Only a crazy plan will save his hide, which is one of the many highlights in Dead Eyes #2.
Martin Dobbs has spent the last twenty years in domestic bliss, having put aside his Dead Eyes persona on his retirement from taking down banks. Now, as we see in the opening to Dead Eyes #2, economic circumstances, in the form of his wife’s huge medical bills, force Martin to don the mask again.
I don’t understand the American health insurance system. It’s a nightmare seemingly designed to terrify people into not attending the doctor/hospital in a timely way until their medical situations are so grim they die before they become a burden to their insurers. Dead Eyes #2 writer Gregory Duggan seemingly knows the rational response – don a mask and start robbing banks one by one to pay the bills.
Of course, he’s cleverly dressed up the underlying message in a pretty neat, pacy story that only gains momentum the further in you get. Martin’s anger and despair at the costs of his wife’s treatment morphs into a determination to return to his old criminal habits. Duggan doesn’t ask you to condone what Martin is doing; your understanding is all that’s required.
McCrea’s artwork conveys the speed of the story, while special mention has to go to colorist Mike Spicer’s whose work brings mood and atmosphere in spades.
Overall, Dead Eyes #2 is a strong follow up to the opening issue. Duggan begins here to seed plot lines for future issues, especially as the forces of organised crime stir themselves to track down Dead Eyes and the millions he is reputed to have stolen from them before retiring. While Martin’s wife’s medical bills are the impetus to Dead Eyes’ resurrection, it seems clear that there will be other elements that will project the series for many more issues to come.
A note: this series originally launched under the title DEAD RABBT. Some legal issues came along and it is now titled and solicited as DEAD EYES.
BOTTOM LINE: POLITICAL, WITH A POINT
Dead Eyes #2 mixes the political with a crime thriller. Duggan has his finger on the pulse of the debate about how the health system in America treats its users. While he advocates an extreme solution, it is no doubt born of extreme frustration. None of what Martin does is faintly believable, but that’s not the point. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and if Martin is at least unwilling to don the mask at first, when he does so, he brings back with it all his bravado and experience.
Dead Eyes #2
A fast and furious depiction of a former criminal forced by circumstance to go back to his bank robbing ways, Dead Eyes #2 is more than simply another crime thriller, but also a (admittedly shallow) examination of what people will do when they have no other options.