Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Release Date: July 13, 2022
Reviewer: Lukke Sweet
Above Snakes #1 by Hayden Sherman is the most compelling story about Dirt that I’ve ever read. Of course, Dirt is the name of the main character and this issue follows his quest for justice. Dirt is seeking justice for the death of his wife at the hands of the Above Snakes Gang and we get a good look at the sort of things they’re willing to do in this issue.
Sherman offers a unique look into some of the most common tropes among Westerns. Throughout the issue, the narrative revolves around justice and outlaws, while also offering classics of the genre such as brothels, saloons, and six-shooters.
Throughout the issue, the bulk of the backstory comes from the caption boxes which highlight Dirt’s internal monologue and the character of Speck, a talking bird from across the netherplane. As the issue follows Dirt on his hunt for justice, we’re introduced to some characters that will hopefully show up in future issues and get a good look at what justice means in this version of the wild west. Dirt’s particular method of justice is particularly satisfying given the context of the issue.
Flipping through Above Snakes #1, it seems like the art and colors don’t fit the story. But dive in, and you’ll find that Hayden Sherman delivers exactly what this story needs. The colors chosen help to emphasize the importance of characters or places and also help to diffuse the violence of many panels.
Above Snakes #1 by Shawn Lewis is a dark and humorous take on the wild west. It delivers on everything a first issue should: interesting characters, a good story, and just enough of the overarching story to make readers want to pick up the next issue.