Friday, January 1, 2010

Deadman: Lost Souls Trade Paperback Review

Deadman: Lost Souls
DC Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
200 Pages
$19.95 (1995)
ISBN 1563891883

Contributors: Mike Baron, Kelley Jones, Les Dorscheid, and introduction by Archie Goodwin

Reprints: Deadman: Love After Death #1-2 (of 2); Deadman: Exorcism #1-2 (of 2)

Synopsis: Deadman has been a ghost under the service of deity Rama Kushna for ten years and grown extremely lonely. He reads about the ghost of a female aerialist, investigates and falls in love, but first he must free her from her husband’s demonic circus. In a second storyline Deadman has been driven insane by the hallowed ground of an ancient, abandoned church. Three evil spirits are loosed threatening to open a doorway to hell and only Deadman, the Phantom Stranger, and a handful of regular humans can save the world.

Pros: Groundbreaking character art by Jones depicts Deadman as a spectral corpse, Deadman stories finally become ‘horrific’ thanks to Baron

Cons: Second storyline is weak and convoluted, Boston Brand gay bashes, revelation of childhood trauma with his brother Cleve taints the character

Mike Tells It Straight: Deadman finally gets the horror treatment he so richly deserves under Baron and Jones. The first story is a real winner, but the second is so bad it practically ruins the character forever.  Pick this collection up if you're a Kelley Jones fan because he does some of his best work here.  Otherwise skip it (especially Exorcism) and get the two-part Love After Death set.

TO BUY and Recommendations: Deadman Vol. 1