Comic Name: Route 666
Publisher: CrossGen Comics
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Karl Moline
# of Issues: 6
Release Date: 2003
Reprints Route 666 #1-6 (July 2002-December 2002). Cassie Starkweather was born with a gift that she wants to forget. As a child, she could see and talk to ghosts, but Cassie put that childhood ability away. When Cassie’s friend Helene is killed in a tragic accident Cassie’s old gift resurfaces. Cassie learns that she is in danger and that there is a war coming between the living and the dead. Unfortunately, no one can see the things Cassie sees and Cassie is on the run and wanted for murder.
Written by Tony Bedard and illustrated by Karl Moline, Route 666 1: Highway to Horror is a horror comic series. Published by CrossGen Comics, the series was part of secondary waves of series put out by the publisher.
CrossGen was an interesting experiment that showed a lot of promise. Route 666 was the foray into the horror comics. The series was a mix of comedy and horror (kind of a Tales from the Crypt style). While the book wasn’t CrossGen’s greatest titles, it still was rather interesting. This volume is a nice pick-up for the series.
Route 666 1: Highway to Horror is pretty much split into a couple storylines. The first part of the volume is an origin series and set-up for the rest of the comic. It also introduces Cisco who does return in later issues to help Cassie in her quest. The second part of the story introduces Cassie’s pursuer. Agent Melchior is an agent for the National Bureau of Investigation and serves as almost a Gerard character from The Fugitive (or even farther back Javert from Les Miserables). His chase forces the character to keep moving.
It is in these standard stock characters that the story is a bit weak. The humor doesn’t quite balance out right and the reader seems to be a few steps in front of Cassie instead of the other way around (she doesn’t come off as that bright…intentionally or not). It makes the series hard to surprise the readers and keep them coming back.
Route 666 1: Highway to Horror isn’t a bad start but shows room for improvement. Unfortunately (as you probably know), CrossGen already didn’t have that long when Route 666 was released. It already felt like it was spread a bit thin and the whole company began to collapse. The series ran twenty two issues and despite the resurgence of some series like Ruse and Sigil under Marvel, Route 666 remains dead. Route 666 1: Highway to Horror was followed by Route 666 2: Most Haunted.