Comic Review: Road Rage #2


Written by: Joe Hill and Stephen King

Adapted by: Chris Ryall

Art by: Nelson Daniel

Review:

Road Rage #2 picks up immediately where the last issue left off. In case you weren’t paying attention, let’s recap. There is a motorcycle club called The Tribe. Most of their members seem to have military experience. There currently hitting the road to find cash that is owed to them that an acquaintance left with his girlfriend. Later, down the road, a big, gnarly 18-wheeler runs them down killing half their numbers. The bulk of them out maneuvered the trucker, but their youngest and most hot-headed member wasn’t so lucky. It was a fun and thrilling first issue for what was meant to be a 4-issue mini.

By all intents and purposes the second issue should have been the same. Race spends the entire issue running from the big nasty looking truck, while his comrades work frantically to save him. It just doesn’t add up to much. The dialog becomes exclusively utilitarian to move the plot forward. All the mildly interesting character development was thrown out the window. It becomes a very VERY brief encounter with the truck as The Tribe’s story concludes with this issue. It is an almost consistent criticism of Stephen King’s work. In its brevity, it deflates the tension slowly but surely.

The biggest black mark on the whole thing was trying to make sense of the truck driver. In the Duel original (at least the Spielberg movie cause I still haven’t read Matheson’s story), the truck driver was more of a force of nature like the shark from Jaws. This time, writer Chris Ryall, tries to force characterization out of the truck driver. First thing first is the military tattoo on his arm, the only clear visual we have on the driver. Furthermore, through some hamfisted Sherlock-Holmesing, our main protagonist puts together some very minute details to piece together the driver’s true motivation.  I couldn’t help but groan.

I believe 2 more issues are going to come out for the title Road Rage, shifting gears towards a more authentic adaptation of the Matheson story, as far as I can tell. Regardless, the story of The Tribe would probably serve better over the whole 4 issues with the time and space to properly develop plot and characters. Needless to say, the second issue of Road Rage was a really big disappointment.

Rating: 2/10