Postal: Deliverance is a gripping portrait of the interconnected lives of one small group of people. The story winds its way from a life of leisure in the Sunshine State to a stoic, self-righteous community in Wyoming. In this gritty tale by Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill, violence begets violence and happy endings are a myth.
The story opens with Erik on the run. He is chased by men in military garb. He kills them and heads home. He finds his wife and child have been murdered. Meanwhile, in Florida an older couple appear to be spending their retirement in relative peace. The woman, Laura, is restless and bored. While out in town she comes across a young boy named Pascal who is the target of a local gang. They want him to join. Laura intervenes and eventually takes Pascal under her wing. She teaches him self defense and he takes out his anger and frustration on the gang members who hurt him. In retaliation, the gang murders Pascal’s mother and he goes to Laura and her husband, Magnum, for help. They are not what they appear. During this time, in Wyoming a close-knit community deals with the appearance of Erik. His presence sits uneasy with a lot of people. It appears that anyone can pay the mayor, Mark, to live in his community but not everyone is welcome. While at the community bar, Erik kills a man and his punishment is Old Testament-level harsh. The story ends on a cliff-hanger that begs the question: how are all of these lives connected?
Postal: Deliverance is a brutal story that feels lived-in. Raffaele Ienco’s artwork is so realistic that the story itself is believable even if the dialogue is slightly wooden and humorless. There is no light to the darkness of its reality. The writing lends to the stark atmosphere of pain and retaliation, whereas the illustrations are the real story tellers. Nothing is toned down by the artwork. The blood is bright red. Bruises are deep purples and blacks. The change in location throughout the story is easy to discern through subtle changes to the light and color of a scene. Florida is sunny and full of oranges and yellows while Wyoming is darker with neutral tans and blues. The sadness and anger of the story comes through the drawn and pinched faces of every character. Postal: Deliverance is a revenge story with a touch of noir and dystopia thrown in for good measure.
Postal: Deliverance is appropriate for readers age 18 and up due to graphic violence, gore, and language. It will appeal to readers of Steve Orlando’s Virgil and Jeff Lemire’s Gideon Falls.
Postal: Deliverance, vol. 1
By Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill
Art by Raffaele Ienco
Top Cow, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: M