Action Comics Weekly #606 (Deadman)
“This is Hell”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Liz Berube
Editor – Barbara Randall
Welcome to, perhaps the one chapter of our Deadman feature that I’d actually been looking forward to… for a few reasons. First, we had a (pardon the pun) helluva cliffhanger last time out, and second… well, I don’t want to spoil it yet… but we’re going to meet a fella who has fascinated me for quite some time.
So… let’s get to it.
We open with Deadman… in Hell! He is greeted by a devil, who introduces himself as “a man of wealth and taste”, which confirms all those things we were told about listening to Satanic records. Deadman is taken on a tour, where he is introduced to the C.I.A. Agent who first found the Jug. Remember, Hell is inside a Jug being kept inside a clandestine Military Installation somewhere in Virginia. Anyhoo, this Agent is being endlessly tortured for his trespass. Boston possesses the body to confirm.
We get a lot of Deadman questioning whether or not this is “really Hell” or if Hell is even real in the first place. A lot of this comes across a bit try-hard for my tastes. Anyhoo, Deadman asks why the devil is male (for some reason), which prompts ol’ Beelzebub to transform into a woman, just to screw with him.
The Devil transforms a few more times, including into… who I think is supposed to be Ronald Reagan? It doesn’t look one bit like Reagan, but I feel like it’s gotta be him. DC staffers really didn’t like the President all that much, and weren’t afraid to let everybody know. At this point, Deadman is dropped into a Hellish version of Walmart… well, a more Hellish version of Walmart. Though, in fairness, I don’t see any motorized carts, so Hell might have a leg up on us!
Boston bugs out, and is met outside by… D.B. Cooper. Wait, are we talking… that D.B. Cooper?! Well folks, it looks like we are! Upon meeting him, Deadman refers to the fella as the mysterious Skyjacker from the Seventies. Looks like as he was leaping from the plane, his ‘chute didn’t open… and, he fell straight into Hell.
D.B. and B.B. walk the streets of Hell… the seedier streets of Hell, that is… and, ya know… I don’t have much to say about this panel, but I wanna share it anyway.
D.B. leads Deadman out of the more populous city area, all the while spouting off about how he might’ve just found a way out of this place. The pair begin to cross a vast desert… and on the horizon stands a very large mountain. Cooper is certain that, should they be able to scale it, they’ll be free!
D.B. Cooper?! How ’bout dat?
Lemme tell ya, the story of D.B. Cooper has long been one of my Internet “rabbit holes”. It’s just such a strange and interesting story… and it’s somehow one that keeps having more lore added to it with every passing year! I mean, the skyjacking happened in 1971… that’s nearly a half-century ago, and we’re still learning new things about it!
Sure, some of it’s almost certainly complete bunk… but, I’m the kinda guy who “wants to believe”, ya know what I mean? If you’re interested, John Lordan put out an interesting video on D.B. a couple of years back.
Heck, even though the F.B.I. suspended their investigation in 2016… as recent as August, 2018… folks are still attempting to put the pieces together! Imagine eventually learning that this dude survived and just went on to live a life of relative anonymity? That’d be pretty nuts. Though, I guess before we can even consider such a thing, we’ll have to see if he and Deadman can escape the Hell Jug.
So, for the rest of the story of the issue. It was pretty good. I quite enjoyed it… though, Boston’s incredulousness did get a bit annoying. I mean, he’s Deadman… is the concept of there being a Hell really that far-fetched? We’ve talked about this before… in the real world, sure, an individual can question and/or doubt things like that… but, in the DC Universe? Dude… c’mon… the DC Heroes have met angels, devils, gods, demons… even Santa Claus!
I did find it interesting that the streets of Hell were full of porn and debauchery. It’s odd that that sort of “statement” would be made… sorta lumping that all together as “Hellish”, ya know?
Anyhoo… good stuff here. Art continues to be strong… though, if that was supposed to be Reagan… woof. Try that one again. Looking forward to what’s to come!
Tomorrow: Superman… yawn… probably just stands around a bit.