ACW #608 – Deadman

Action Comics Weekly #608 (Deadman)
“Gala Reception”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Liz Berube
Editor – Barbara Randall

I finally feel like this little project is “coming into focus” at this point.  I mean, it’s been nearly two-months, it’s really about time.

When I first made the switch… it felt like I was juggling so many balls in the air at once.  I thought it would be an easy transition… necessitating far less effort than my usual output.

Boy, was I wrong at first.  Actually planning… trying to keep ahead of schedule… making new covers… the seemingly endless credits lists… there was quite a lot of meat on this ACW bone… but, I think I’ve finally got it down.

Famous last words, right?

Speaking of last words, let’s check in on DeadGuy!

We open with Deadman… and a bat, proceeding toward a light at the end of a tunnel.  Not sure where ol’ D.B./The Old Man in the Cave/O-Sensei/whoever that was is… heck, maybe he’s the bat.  As he approaches the light, Boston takes a leap of faith… and winds up popping right out of that Sumerian Jug!  Wow, that was easy!  But maybe… it’s a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”, because it looks like something else escaped the Jug before him… and turned some of the guards into crispy critters!

Major Kasaba and C.I.A. Director, Stan Kriptman get an eyewitness account… the escapee looked just like the Devil himself!  Boston feels responsible… after all, the Devil tricked him, so I guess he’s not entirely off the hook.  And so, Deadman does some Deadmanning, possessing body after body until he finds himself in the room with that ancient Mayan weaponry (wow, this is actually all coming together!).

He picks up the weapon… then finds himself possessing Director Kriptman himself!

As Stan Kriptman, he heads home… not sure how he knows where he’s even headed… but, I’m not much of a Deadmanstorian, so this might just be something he’d “know” after taking over a body.  Anyhoo, Kriptman’s got a wife… and Boston’s really looking forward to meeting her.  There’s also a hoity-toity Gala taking place for the Soviet Premier this evening… but, we’ll get there.

Upon arriving at “his” home, Deadman discovers that “his” wife has left him!  Seems ol’ Stan’s a bit of a tomcat.  The phone rings, and it’s a woman named Lynn… the very woman Stan’s been out tomcattin’ with!  She tells him that Mrs. Kriptman knows everything about their affair… to which, “Stan” suggests they both lay low for a bit… which was certainly not the answer she wanted to hear.

Then… there’s a knock at the door.  It’s some C.I.A. suit, and he’s “checking in” because it’s unusual for Stan to be home quite this early.  Guess these are peak “cheat on your wife” hours.  Anyhoo, Stan shows him the “Dear Scumbag John” letter, to which, the fella’s all “Oh yeah, I saw your wife stomping outta here!”.  They also briefly chat about another Nicaraguan drug trade thing… Boston tells him to “cool his jets” on that though.  So, some good might come out of this.

We jump ahead to the Gala… and Boston is convinced that the Devil will likely make an appearance.  He brings his briefcase, complete with Mayan Raygun into the reception hall with him… but is told that he’ll need to “check” it.  We wrap up with “Stan” being called over by some fella, who happens to be talking with his “good friend”, Lynn!

Well, we sure got outta Hell pretty quick, didn’t we?  Prob’ly for the best… I think that place was pretty well spent.

What we get here is, pretty solid.  Possession is 9/10’s of, not only the law, but of Deadman stories… and, to me… it’s both a good thing, and a bad thing.  In case you’re just joining us… uh, there’s a button to the right where you can catch up… but, also… Deadman ain’t one of my favorites because… well, he’s just too powerful.

Here we have him possessing the body of the Director of the C.I.A…. what’s to stop him from just invading the body of the President… or the Soviet Premier?  Uh, I didn’t just give it all away, did I?  I dunno… just seems too “easy”.

BUT… despite everything inside me telling me this isn’t something I should like… I do kinda dig it.  Am I maturing?  Am I softening?  Well, let’s not throw any babies up in the air just yet.

I certainly appreciate the call-back to the Mayan Temple… I’d nearly forgotten that’s where this whole story started, and was quite surprised to see it mentioned again.  It makes me optimistic that there is a story here, and it’s not all being written “on the fly”.  With the change in scene-and-stakes, I didn’t expect it to wrap back around.  Good job!

Overall… not sure I care all that much about The Many Loves of Stan Kriptman, but this was a really good chapter nonetheless.

Tomorrow: Leave the Memories Alone… because we’re saying farewell so long for now to Blackhawk.

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