In 1968, Sergio Leone put the finishing touches on the world that Deadeye would be written into. It’s the existence of a drifter cowboy with a chip on his shoulder-past, seeking revenge that is dark and doom-ridden. In Deadeye, this backdrop is beautifully painted and could easily end there but nothing from Creative Mind Energy (CME) is simple. With Deadeye, there’s something a little more that takes Leone’s paradigm in a completely unexpected direction.
Nathan C. Gooden takes credit for the illustration and story while Damian A. Wassel picks up the credit for the writing on Deadeye. The pacing of Deadeye, is wonderful – it feels genuinely Leone – it’s slow and plodding and mood-building. Where the book maybe goes of the rails (this has yet to be determined) is that it also includes some ethereal, voice-over narrative from seemingly god-like presences that discuss the actions of the story in a movie-watcher kind of way. While this is a little off-setting, it’s not bad and could potentially become something interesting with future installments of this otherwise beautiful western.
Visually, Deadeye is as gorgeous as it is well-paced. Gooden’s art is reminiscent of Jae Lee’s stuff on Dark Tower but that may just be the western vibe of both books making that parallel. Deadeye is emotive in color and page/panel layout with efficient and effective panel to panel storytelling that breaks and bends the rules nicely. Gooden’s art could make virtually any comic book better but it really serves Deadeye extremely well.
While the final verdict is still out on Deadeye’s godly-presence aspects, the book is visually incredible and a strong western story otherwise. Leone might be proud.