Phantom Road #1 Review

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Gabriel H. Walta

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: Steve Wands

Cover Artists: Gabriel H. Walta; Jeff Lemire; Javier Fernandez; Andrea Sorrentino; & Christian Ward

Publisher: Image Comics 

Price: $3.99

Release Date: March 1, 2023

We see them on our streets. They line our highways. They transport goods to stores, warehouses, and storage depots. They are the most visible of our neighbors. Yet do we ever wonder what strange situations long-haul truckers might encounter? Let’s climb aboard Phantom Road #1 and find out!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Phantom Road #1 Review.


He drives through the night with only his radio for company. He sees only a lined strip of asphalt and his reflection on the windshield. When he pulls into a truck stop, those he meets seem more like ghosts: they inhabit the present but only look toward the future. There is only his delivery and a short reprieve before the next endurance test begins. We don’t learn his name until halfway through Phantom Road #1. Dom tries to help a frightened woman. She points to a strange object in the road near a dead body and her overturned car. When he touches it, everything changes. The minimal dialogue and familiar storyline drew me in. A flashback gave insight into Dom’s past. He’s no Snowman from Smokey And The Bandit. Nor does he have much to look forward to, unlike Lincoln Hawk in Over The Top. Yet I felt I knew him. While the woman remains a stranger, I can understand the fear that threatens to overwhelm her.


The gauges on Dom’s dashboard may not form perfect circles. The interior of his cabin looks scribbled. Darkened areas of the road are lined or blacked out. The truck stop waitress wears a blank expression. A drug pusher’s features are squiggly lines. A fellow trucker looks carved from clay. Walta’s hand-drawn art ushers us into Phantom Road #1 and keeps us turning the pages. The most vibrant scenes are when Dom enters the Truck stop café and the one-page flashback. As for the rest, Jordie Bellaire’s minimal coloring matches the blandness of Dom’s life. Yet the strange events in the second half, in which Dom’s life changes—perhaps forever—offer even less color. Harsh lighting bleaches the barren plain, a radical change from the nighttime Dom so recently inhabited.

The computer-designed dialogue balloons merge uneasily with Walta’s squiggles and lines. Yet the uppercase lettering makes for easy reading. Italicized and bold words suggest intonation. Words fade for lowered voices. Squiggly yellow notes overlay one man’s white dialogue balloons as he sings the tune locked in his head. Radio messages get relayed through starbursts. Computer-generated sound effects in the first half give way to hand-drawn ones in the second. It’s an intriguing mix that never slows or halts us on this long, strange journey.

Final Thoughts

Phantom Road #1‘s familiar premise, identifiable characters, and fast-moving story caught me in its draft and carried me along. It evokes The Twilight Zone and The Walking Dead. Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream also comes to mind. As a passenger on this strange journey, I wonder where the series will take me next.


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