Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Walking Deadman!

Deadman - Book Four continues collecting up choice Deadman tales from the pre-Crisis DC Universe. The spectacular beginning of these Deadman tales in Strange Adventures under the hand of creators Arnold Drake, Jack Miller, Carmine Infantino and Neal Adams (the character's most famous artist) is collected in the first two volumes of this series. Many of the stories guest-starring Deadman, particularly in The Brave and the Bold under the pen of Bob Haney appeared in volume three.

The collection starts with another Haney adventure, a raucous affair from an issue of DC Special Series which showcased The Brave and the Bold. Deadman is just one of several guest-stars with the Batman in this yarn which isn't the strongest, but is one of the weirdest.

Then the heart of this collection begins as Deadman gets his own gig again at long last in the pages of the Dollar-Sized Adventure Comics. The artwork in this series is absolutely superb. Jim Aparo is at the very top of his game producing some of the most compelling artwork of his long DC career in these few pages. Then he's replaced by then rising superstar Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez who begins his long association with the Deadman character. Artwork by two absolute masters, dynamic and powerful with impeccable storytelling.

 That storytelling is supplied in script form mostly by Len Wein with a small assist from Gerry Conway. Wein does a very smart thing with the deceased Boston Brand, he returns him to the big top. The circus offers up a goodly batch of relatively small-scale tales which fit the vibe of Deadman ideally. Deadman isn't at his best as a world beater, but more compelling as a local ghost.

This is a must-have volume for any Deadman fan as the entire Adventure Comics run is contained here along with a final bow in DC's other team-up comic DC Comics Presents in which Deadman partners with Superman, another powerhouse Garcia-Lopez artistic effort.

Get this! It's fantastic!

Here's a glimpse of the previous three volumes in this series.

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