Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dead And Hating It!

I finally got around to reading the stories in this fifth volume of Deadman reprints which showcase the limited series from the 80's. I've never read these stories ever, but I've always been intrigued because of the involvement of Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez, one of the finest artists in the history of comics. His dynamic pencils here evoke the vintage Neal Adams vibe and still have a sleek gloss specific Lopez himself. The reproduction leaves a lot to be desired sadly,but the goodness is still evident.

The story on the other hand is pretty much a mess. Andrew Helfer is not a writer I know much about, but this attempt to reboot the Deadman saga falters several times before it ultimately fails. The story begins with Boston Brand in Nanda Parabat and hating life, so much so he wants to return to the larger world as a ghost in order to put his affairs into order. That decision leads to a tragedy which unravels a great deal of Deadman's rich back story and which takes off the table several characters which which always entertained me.

We learn that Rama Kushna has been doing the "Deadman" shtick for a while before Boston Brand came along and in fact the revolt of one of those ghastly agents is what triggered (pun intended) the death of Brand so he could become Deadman. This kind of retcon works or doesn't work, and this time I didn't get any sense the new revelations opened up understanding and in fact seemed to diminish all that Brand had struggled through before. It's not quite Bobby Ewing-having-a-dream territory, but it's darn close.

I've been in the wilderness for a long time when it comes to mainstream comics continuity, so I don't know if any of these details remained with the character or were wiped out by any of DC's many reboots, but I do know that I will mostly try to pretend this story never happened. I prefer things as they were thank you. 

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  1. Anything by Garcia-Lopez is worth a look. Is this reprint recolored? I can see his art still looking great with modern coloring--perhaps even better, with some of these covers.

    1. To be honest the printing is pretty sketch. But I think that might've been a problem with the original stuff, the early Baxter stuff from DC had problems.

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