Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If Cirque de Soleil wore costumes like this, I'd make less fun:

BTW, opposite this page: an ad for NBC's teen Saturday morning lineup. Yay. One of my favorite pages, from a favorite single issue: Batman: Gotham Adventures #6, "Last Chance" Written by Ty Templeton, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Terry Beatty. Even though a pre-dead Boston Brand had appeared in the Batman animated series' continuity before, this issue almost completely covers Deadman's origin and major story arc, finding his killer, the man with the hook.

I like the character a lot, and will usually pick up a Deadman guest appearance or reprint whenever I can, whether it's in Batman, the Spectre, or Legion of Super-Heroes. But I haven't followed as much of his solo stuff, like his appearances in Action Comics Weekly or his Kelley Jones miniseries or even his recent 2001 mini Dead Again and short-lived series. (Come to think of it, I've read most of his 80's miniseries, with art by Garcia-Lopez, I think; but not the last issue. Have I? Now I can't remember if I read it, or saw the ending somewhere.)

Here's a recap page, from Dead Again #1, "The Quick and the Dead" Written by Steve Vance, art by Leonard Kirk and Rick Burchett.

This issue was set during the Crisis of Infinite Earths, as Deadman tries to help the newly departed Flash to his final reward, only to have Flash's soul caged by evil wizard Darius Caldera. I haven't read the rest of the series but Deadman fights Caldera at other key deaths in DC history, specifically Jason Todd, Superman, and Hal Jordan. Considering none of those are currently dead, Boston must've done better than we thought...actually, Marvel ran into this problem, more than once, with the Legion of the Unliving, almost all of whom have at some point moseyed on back to the land of the living.

But then, how many comics have there been, where say, Captain America, at death's door, saw Bucky? Or Batman turned away from his final reward by Jason Todd? Reckon there's got to be a couple, and then it turns out those wacky sidekicks weren't dead at all, which would imply that most of the time when someone about to die sees a loved one, it's a hallucination. Well, that's a downer. Or maybe a warning to drop that particular old cliche. Either or.


Sea_of_Green said...

Hey, now, don't mock Cirque! They're the closest thing on the planet to real human beings who look and move like comic book super-heroes. And, GEEZ, they're gorgeous. ;-)

Actually, I have seen one or two Cirque acrobats made up kinda like Deadman (in La Nouba or in Quidam, can't remember which) -- but without the collar. I would think a collar like that would be a disaster for the average circus acrobat.

SallyP said...

I have to admit that Deadman is a really interesting concept.

Ace said...

Did you see episode 7 of Batman And The Brave And The Bold? It had Deadman in it. And, from the very few comics staring him that I've read, it didn't make him out too well.

Sea_of_Green said...

I saw that B&B episodes, too. For the entire first half of it, I kept asking myself, "Why is Deadman dressed like the Hal Jordan Spectre?"

googum said...

Yeah, I'm trying to remember that episode...I liked the JLU episode he was in.

The weird thing is, and it didn't come up too often, was that Deadman didn't really look like that: he was a ghost that just happened to be wearing a spooky mask when he died. I think I've lost it over the years, but there's a great Christmas with the Super-Heroes story where a mysterious stranger unmasks Boston, reminding him a little of who he is. Or was, I guess.

After that though, Kelley Jones and later Alex Ross, began to play up he's Dead, Man.