ACW #603 – Deadman

Action Comics Weekly #603 (Deadman)
“Talaoc’s Tale!”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Liz Berube
Editor – Barbara Randall

So, two weeks ago… Major Kasaba could see Deadman.  Last week, everybody at the temple could see Deadman.  Gotta assume this chapter ends with Deadman being visible to a sold-out Madison Square Garden?

We pick up right where we left off (I feel like I’m saying that a lot lately), where Deadman and Talaoc are facing off atop the Temple… and everyone can see them both!  But how?  Well, ya see… um, lemme try and explain this… Talaoc is powered by how how much faith his followers have in him… and, uh, somehow that allows people to see them?  Okay.  Among the “peanut gallery” is Major Kasaba and that Archaeologist fellow who’d rather everybody just leave so he might continue his research.

Kasaba’s interest is piqued… she wonders just how much power she’d wield if she were able to take control over these fantastic fellas.  We immediately jump to a mid-air fight between Talaoc and Deadman, during which Boston makes a lot of “short” jokes… like, implying that Talaoc is short in stature.  He’s certainly smaller than Deadman, but… I dunno.

They don’t fight for long though… after the initial tussle, it seems as though they respect one another as warriors… though, Tally still wants to “kill” Deadman.  Well, not so fast, kemosabe… “Dead” is the dude’s first name, after all.  Tally claims to be a God… Boston suggests he’s just a tiny man who made a bum deal with a God.  Potayto Potahto.  Okay, not quite Potayto Potahto.

It really doesn’t take all that much in the way of convincing… Talaoc comes around to the idea pretty quickly.  He remembers great shining ships flying in the sky… that burned him with light.  They wanted to rule and conquer… and the key to all of that, was horrible machines.

Okay, so after a few body swaps… and the arrival of Quetzalcoatl, everything was cool.  Only, the machines remained in the pyramid/temple thingie.  Tally and Boston have gotta head back with the quickness before Kasaba and Company realize what they’re standing on!  Only… they’re too late.

By now, Kasaba has deduced that the temple was built on top of a flying saucer… and commands her men to tear the whole thing down so they can find it!  The Archaeologist, naturally, ain’t hip to this jive… though, he’s the only one present without a gun, so what’s he gonna do about it?  We wrap up with a strange humming emanating from the temple itself… a very familiar humming to our new pal Talaoc!

Okay, after two better-than-expected chapters, this is where I kind of get “iffy” with this one.

First… that explanation as to why people can see Deadman and Talaoc.  Okay, so, the more faithful Talaoc’s followers, the better they can see him?  Sounds good… but, why then, can they also see Deadman?!  Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I’m just not wired for this kind of story… but, to me, it would stand to reason that the “followers” would only see ol’ Tally.  Lookit me, applying logic to a Deadman story.  Nevermind.

Deadman being able to convince Talaoc that he’s not really a God, and instead just a short dude who made a bad deal with a God is pretty neat… and plays on his own origins… but, I mean, he was able to convince him of this within like… two panels?  I dunno… seems a little too easy.

Let’s jump to the end.  So, there’s a flying saucer under the temple, right?  But… but… this is the DC Universe… that really isn’t so much of a novelty, is it?!  I mean, Kasaba just saw a pair of ethereal God-like characters having a chat… and a lousy UFO is what piques her interest?!

So yeah, definitely the weakest Deadman chapter so far… which is a shame, as I was actually beginning to “come around” over the past couple of weeks.  The cliffhangers had been riveting, unfortunately the explanations and revelations have been rather lackluster.

Tomorrow: A (very) Silly Superman Shortie!

4 thoughts on “ACW #603 – Deadman

  • Dave S

    I wonder if the baddie in this story was named after Gerry Talaoc, who done some really nice inking on the Hulk and Alpha Flight in the days of my youth- I think he may have worked on the Unknown Soldier too, maybe as a penciller.

    • Chris

      I bet you're right!

  • Jeremiah

    I have to agree with you, this chapter took a weird turn. Talaoc really comes off as a dope and why aren't the CIA folks and architect more concerned that there are two ghosts hanging around?

    • Chris

      I'm at a point where I really don't *want* to dislike Deadman… because I'm afraid it'll be seen as my weird bias… but, this was definitely a weak chapter! Talaoc's a geek, and you're right… the "civilians" really should have been a bit more shocked to see a pair of ghosts!


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