Image Comics Review: The Ride: Burning Desire #4

by Carl Bryan
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Review: The Ride: Burning Desire #4

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Doug Wagner

Artist:    Daniel Hillyard and Tomm Coker

Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Colors: Charlie Kirchoff 

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan




“It’s time to face the bunny!” – Foo.
“Have you consider accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? – A Nun to a Dancer. 
“Is HE cool with me dancing? – The Dancer to the Nun.

When another dancer is murdered, Vega must choose between freedom, death, and a merry band of misfit exotic dancers. All this and the strangest backup story so far! TOMM COKER (THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS) returns to THE RIDE to tell the story of how a devil-worshipping biker cult drives a woman to nunhood.



Writer Doug Wagner connects the dots of Vega’s past and now present.  A stripper is burned to death and in a fit of kindness, the stripper breaks the neck of the little child that is also condemned to the fate as well.  Graphic…yes!  Merciless…Yes.  And finally, we see what the Ride is all about!  It’s a brutal tell of revenge out of Vega’s past. 
At first I thought it was stagnant story telling, but I had to buy into the pulp noir style.  It took a reading of “The Green Mile” in the form that Stephen King originally published it in…in serial form.  And that is what sold me on The Ride. 
Daniel Hillyard draws a pretty eclectic batch of characters with Wagner verbally painting an seedy world of drugs and strippers.  But this is about a 15 year old revenge plot out of Vega’s past.  And while we slowly have arrived at what should be sewn up in issue #5, I finally see why the Ride is so important to comic authors that want a free space to create and push the borders in both story telling and art!
Speaking of pushing the borders …Doug Wagner and Tomm Coker’s “Nun” needs to win some sort of award for a short story.  This character needs to be a regular in some type of line up.  And the art…Coker’s pencilings rival that of Todd McFarlane’s.  In fact, between that and the lettering of Ed Dukeshire, you have one of the cleanest drawn comics on the market!
And the finishing touch…what a hoot!  Issue #4 should have been Issue #1 in some ways as Coker needs his own gig, and, arguably, Wagner needs to write a series for this Dancer!


My prior reviews had negatives, but this one will not!  Vega’s story has a purpose and “Nun” has one of the tightest drawn fight sequences of recent history!  Kudos to all!



I guess the destination of Issue #4 was worth the tough “Ride” of Issues 1-3.  Can we please have more Tomm Coker!  His art work is worthy of a monthly title!


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