Thursday, March 2, 2023

QUICK SHOTS: The Dead Man #1: Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

The Dead Man series harkened back to the old school way of putting out a Men's Adventure series: multiple writers cranking out wild and wholly action tales as fast as they could. Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin co-created it and then got some great writers to write the continuing adventures of Matthew Cahill and his axe. It's a wonder its's taken me this long to getting around to this series because the names attached read like a list of my favorite authors, Goldberg himself, Christa Faust, James Reasoner, Bill Crider etc. etc. Plus, their wonderfully short and to the point. I'm slow on the uptake, folks. 

Matthew Cahill is a good guy/widower who works at a lumber mill who loves his father's axe and watches out for his no-good best buddy, Andy. Andy gets fired and Cahill quits in protest and then ends up going skiing with his new love interest Rachel and ends up dying in an avalanche, which is just some bad luck. Cut to a few months later when he's found frozen and then miraculously wakes up and feels fine, only being dead that long has to have side effects right? 

It does. Cahill can now see the evil in a person as it festers and rots them like a zombie in his eyes. Sort of like the sunglasses in "They Live." Then there's the series big-bad the uber villain Mr. Dark who seems to be pulling all the strings. Luckily Cahill's a cool cat and real good with his axe and proves to be a very likeable protagonist. Then when his buddy Andy falls into the evil around him Cahill is the only guy around to take care of the problem.  

"Face of Evil" is clearly the "pilot" to the series. These are the hardest to write and get through all the set-up and explanation and still make it light, interesting and fun. Rabkin and Goldberg handle it all with professional skill. It never really bogs down in too much detail and keeps the tone fairly light and fun for all the gruesome goings-on. It has that comfortable syndicated action show from the 90s vibe. A little "Incredible Hulk," a little "Fugitive" or "The Invaders" mixed up with the over-the-top vibe of "Tales from the Crypt." 

These books a super easy to get ahold, go to Amazon and you can get them on Kindle, Audible, or in three-in-one bind-up paperbacks like I did. These would be perfect little snacks in-between longer novels. 

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