Death Head #1

Death Head #1

Writer: Nick Keller, Zack Keller Artist: Joanna Estep Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Release Date: July 15, 2015 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 18 User Reviews: 4
7.4Critic Rating
8.8User Rating

Who is the Plague Doctor? What does he want? And how will the family survive?

Zack Keller (cocreator of Dick Figures, the Streamy, IAWTV, and Annie Award–nominated web series with 650 million+ YouTube views) and Nick Keller (Turner of the Century) deliver a supernatural-horror thriller about family and creeping, terrifying murder!

When Niles and Justine Burton go camping to get a break from their stressful lives, they expect to find peace . . . not an abandoned village hiding an ancient evil. In a turn of events ripped straight from a horror movie, a brutal killer wearing a plague doctor’s mask begins hunting Niles, Justine, and their two kids.

  • 10
    Villain Smash - Jorge Solis Jul 15, 2015

    Death Head #1 has done a great job introducing its characters. I really want the second installment to kick it up a notch in the second installment. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Impulse Gamer - Chris O'Connor Jun 9, 2016

    As someone who isn't immersed in comics but enjoys the format… I certainly look forward to the next installment of Death Head and that is testament to all those who put this comic together, great pace, wonderful artwork and great story development with characters that are intriguing and believable. I also need to say that the post script, the “Creator Essays” at the end is equally worth reading for anyone interested in the creative arts (they really resonated with me… to the point that I emailed one of the creators to say as much). If you like comics and or horror… do yourself a favour and grab a copy of Death Head… it's well worth it! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    GWW - Chris Pirri Jun 18, 2015

    Nick and Zack Keller know how to captivate their audience. Right from the get go they grab your attention and take you for a ride that will make you scream non-stop. In my opinion this could be made into a great screenplay, and be adapted to the big screen. Yes I know it's only one issue but to me it's that good. Let's not forget about the art by Joanna Estep. She does such a great job of bringing the Doctor to life. From the long black coat to the eerily pointed nose of the mask. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Graphic Policy - pharoahmiles Jul 13, 2015

    Definitely, the Kellers are lovers of this genre and know what works and what does not work, as far as storytelling, and they use the devices that do work in the most effective ways. The art by Joanna Estep is an extraordinary complement to the Kellers script. The cohesion between the Kellers and Estep, make this project work, where others would fail. Overall, a solid horror comic, that definitely deserves a big screen adaptation. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    We The Nerdy - Alexander Handziuk Jul 15, 2015

    Death Head #1 is a standout horror issue that successfully follows the many tropes of horror while also introducing its own dark and terrifying twists. If you love horror or if sleepless nights are your idea of a fun time then give Death Head #1 a try. You wont regret it. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comicosity - Heather Joy Jul 16, 2015

    The artwork is exactly what you would hope to find in a horror setting. Joanna Estep and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick leave just enough to the imagination to allow your mind to horrify yourself, all the while granting you the detail and expression to help you get to know these characters without oversharing. The use of shadows, along with other points of subtlety adds just enough mystery to the most crucial of scenes to take you to the depths of your subconscious, leading you into the intoxicating darkness that is Death Head. I have read many horror comics in the past year, but this is by far my favorite. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    ComicWow!TV - Bhavna Bakshi Jul 20, 2015

    I think the Kellers are two people who genuinely understand horror, and have a plan as to executing their own. With mystery, intrigue, and just plan uneasiness, these boys have started something good—and something we won’t soon forget. Read Full Review

  • 8.5 - John McCubbin Jun 19, 2015

    Death Head #1 is a smart, chilling and gripping read, with the suspenseful developments of the Burton family bringing an emotional twist. It also has at the centre of it a mysterious figure that is hell bent on causing death and destruction, with the creepy tempo of this Plague Doctor and the engrossing narrative itself leaving me excited for a second issue.So be sure to pick this up from your local comic book store on July 15th, and to be guaranteed a copy get your order in before the FOC, which isJune 22nd. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Crusaders - Alan Jun 19, 2015

    Final Verdict: It's not the most in-depth first issue you will ever read, but Death Head #1 could be the beginning of a great horror story. The creative team has cooked up a cast of interesting characters and a creepy ba Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Dan Leicht Jul 16, 2015

    Death Head #1 is a great homage to classic horror movies while creatinga new and frightening entity torule your nightmares! Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - Justin Partidge, III Jul 14, 2015

    Every great slasher has a gimmick. Freddy has his glove, Jason his machete, and now, the Plague Doctor has his mask. Death Head #1 isn't perfect and often comes across disjointed, but the hook of an interesting villain design as well as a firm grasp on its own tone is more than enough for a compelling debut issue. The Kellers, Joanna Estep and Kelly Fitzpatrick are playing everything down right now, but all the pieces are in place for Death Head to deliver some choice slasher movie action in future issues. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicBuzz - JAdam Jul 23, 2015

    Death Head #2 comes out on Wednesday, August 19th. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    AiPT! - Nick Nafpliotis Jul 15, 2015

    Otherwise, this was a perfectly fine horror comic. Could it end up being great? Absolutely, especially with such a talented and capable group of folks making it. I may not have been floored by the first issue, but it was still plenty good enough to make me want to see what happens next month. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comics Bulletin - Sarah G. Jul 21, 2015

    Art wise, there is nothing new or innovative going on within its pages; but for fans of horror comics, or horror in any form, Death Head is a solid book that promises to draw the reader deeper into the story as it progresses.. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Big Comic Page - Ross Sweeney Aug 18, 2015

    Ultimately, despite that minor pitfall, the series is solid, entertaining stuff, though its still very much in the foundation stages of the house of cards construction, and I may well end up eating the above criticism come the conclusion. But thats for next months issue to spring on us, and so for now… Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Word Of The Nerd - Zac Kandell Jul 17, 2015

    Overall, there was just not much in this issue. There was too much spent on trying to set things up for later, and it will probably read better as a trade than as single issues. Honestly, I don't think I'll likely read the next one. Horror is something that Dark Horse can do really well, but this one was just not that interesting. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comic Bastards - James Anders II Jul 17, 2015

    Overall, I was not pleased with the writing of this issue. The art almost saved it, but not quite. Of course though, I am still a sucker for old school style horror comics and will continue to give Zack and Nick Keller a chance to right the ship and pull some of these tidbits of creepiness out forming a cohesive and truly scary story. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Comic Book Resources - Greg McElhatton Jul 20, 2015

    "Death Head" may very well come together once the remaining issues are published. However, taken solely as a single first issue, it just isn't quite there yet. A few creepy moments aside, there's little lure here to make readers dying to find out what happens next; none of the characters are quite likable or interesting enough, and the villain steps out of the shadows too late to have any proper menace. I hope the comic does well but, for now, it will have to do so without me. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Amanda Jul 16, 2015

    Death Head is utterly and gruesomely fantastic. And you can quote me on that. It's very reminiscent of Locke and Key, in tone, not so much story, which I think it the biggest compliment I could pay anything. The splash page in the first issue has me itching to pick up the next one immediately. I had really high hopes for this and it did not disappoint. I think this 6 issue series is going to be great. The writing is solid and the artwork is killer (no pun intended). I would say absolutely pick this up. Issue #1 is a very mild set up to the rest of the series, which I can already tell is going to get more intense, more gory, and more psychological. I'm really looking forward to issue #2.

  • 9.0
    Rob Greer Jul 19, 2015

    The first issue of Death Head is a breath of fresh air for the horror genre. While horror books are often plagued with worn out tropes and gimmicks, nothing in the Keller brothers first effort feels gimmicky. The pacing of the first issue is natural and helps build tension. The setting of the main story speaks to a fantasy-fear many can relate to, i.e., finding an abandon building in the woods. Although this setting feels familiar, there are still surprises around every corner. For instance, the slow realization our heroes have fallen into a blast furnace is terrifying in every sense of the word. Finally, like the settings and set pieces, the main antagonist introduced in the first issue is both familiar and enigmatic. Throughout history, the image of the plague mask has evoked a sense of intrigue and hopefulness coupled with the cold reality of pending doom. One has to wonder whether the characters in Death Head will face the same fate. The only certainty is that following them to the end of their journey will be an exciting worthwhile read.

  • 8.0

    4/5 Rating... Reminiscent of a classic horror story!... This was a SOLID debut issue. I wouldn't say anything scary happens, but there are many a nervous moments, the multiple plot lines did an excellent job of building up the suspense for moments to scare me later, and I hooked on try to figure out how all this is connected... Read the full review at

  • 9.0
    Juanpk26 Jul 16, 2015

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