Action Comics Weekly #602 – Deadman
“Chapter Two: Showdown”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Liz Berube
Editor – Barbara Randall
This week, Deadman comes second… I’ll be covering these in the order in which they appear inside the issue. There’s sort-of an assigned position at this point: Green Lantern is the lead-off (in all issues in which he’s featured, barring one), Blackhawk is the anchor… and the Superman strip shows up Fourth. Secret Six, Deadman, and Wild Dog get juggled from issue to issue.
That said… there’s the possibility that we could go nearly two weeks without seeing the next chapter of a particular feature!
We open in the Mayan Temple, where Deadman was just seen by Major Kasaba. But, how can that be?! Well… she asks who Deadman is, and just what he’s doing there… and so, he lies, claiming to be Talaoc… the Master of this here Temple. Well, Kasaba knows that can’t be right because, get this, she is actually Talaoc!
The Major then explains the situation… looks like Talaoc is simply inhabiting this body, Kasaba is just the “Vessel of his Reincarnation”. She then attempts to blow several holes in Deadman’s torso! Naturally, this doesn’t work. The gunfire, however, gets the attention of the soldiers.
Talaoc takes advantage of this and figures why not mobilize the troops? They’re a bit suspicious, considering that it’s 1:00 AM… but they’re not about to tell the lady “no”. They head out of the Temple to organize their peers, at which time, Deadman decides to inhabit one of their bodies.
A little later, the troops are lined up before Kasaba… who claims there is a traitor among them. She immediately points out the body Deadman is currently inhabiting (seems Talaoc can see through just about anything), and sics the rest of the soldiers on him!
She then, get this, orders him laid out on a stone slab so they could sacrifice him to Quetzelcoatl! Ol’ Boston makes a hasty exit from the body.
Deadman does some body-hopping… and punches Kasaba with each “leap”. At this point, Talaoc has had just about enough, and so he vacates the vessel!
We wrap up with a face-off between Deadman and Talaoc… and it now looks like everybody (including the Archaeologist we met last week) can see them both!
Well, wouldja lookit that… two Deadman stories in a row that I’ve… enjoyed?!
I really liked Boston’s attempt at “quick thinking” in telling Kasaba that he was actually the “Master of the House” Talaoc. It only served to illustrate how “hard luck” the fella could be when it turned out that… he was actually talking to Talaoc!
I felt like the bit at the altar was a bit strange. I have a difficult time accepting that the soldiers would blindly agree to take part in a human sacrifice… especially considering, as far as they knew, they would be sacrificing one of their own! I figure that might be the “bridge too far”. I mean, they were just talking about Kasaba acting erratically… and now they’re prepared to take part in a ritual sacrifice?! I don’t think so.
We end this time with another interesting cliffhanger wherein yet another “civilian” can actually see Deadman (not to mention Talaoc). Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Tomorrow: Wild Dog!