ACW #609 – Deadman

Action Comics Weekly #609 (Deadman)
“Faux Pas”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Liz Berube
Editor – Barbara Randall

Wow, it feels like we’re on an episode of “I Love the 80’s” or something here at Action Comics Daily… ya know, minus all of the C-List celebrities waxing nostalgic about a decade they may not have even been born during.  Also, I’m probably more an “R-List” blogger.

In Green Lantern, we’ve got Oprah Winfrey… and here in Deadman, we’ve got the Reagans and the Gorbachevs!  Gotta assume Magnum, P.I., Mr. T., Michael Jackson, and Hulk Hogan are bound to show up eventually!

We pick back up at the Big U.S./U.S.S.R. Gala, and Deadman is still in the body of C.I.A. Director, Stan Kriptman.  When we left off, he was confronted by his Mistress, Lynn… now that his wife left him, she can’t think of a single reason why they can’t be together.  Well, there are a couple of reasons I could think of.  Anyhoo, Boston-as-Stan guides Lynn out to a balcony so they can talk… and sorta-kinda comes clean.  Tells her he’s there to fight Satan… then tells her that Stan never loved her, before vacating his body.  Kind of a jerk move… but, Stan had it comin’.

Okay… then we get to the “meat and potatoes” of this chapter.  Deadman can see that the Devil has inhabited the body of Premier Mikhail Gorbachev… who just so happens to be chatting up President Ronald Reagan.  You can probably guess what happens next.

And so, we get a couple pages of… well, Mike Baron illustrating his distaste for the President of the United States.  Bet a lotta new comics readers out there thought that was a more “current year” sort of thing.

After some chatting, Deadman and Satan vacate the bodies of the two biggest political movers and shakers of the day, and hop into… their wives!  This time, however, Satan picks the American.  Little does he know that she’s… ya know… A MANHUNTER!

From here, we get a couple of pages of… well, Mike Baron illustrating his distaste for the First Lady of the United States… before “Nancy” hauls off and socks “Raisa Gorbacheva” in the mush.

Worth noting that Ronald Reagan thinks this is a hoot.  Anyhoo, “Raisa” rushes off, and returns… with that Mayan rifle!

So, yeah…

If you’ve read this little blog for any appreciable time, you’ll know that I’d prefer to keep comics and politics just about as far apart as humanly possible.  That, of course, is a pipe dream.  I’m not really a “political animal”… and hate the way American political discourse has become “team sports” rather than acting in anybodies best interests.

Thing is, when you’ve got a 22-page comic to fill, you might be able to “hide” some political commentary (regardless of how subtle) somewhere in the issue.  It might be an offhand remark from a character… maybe a news report in the background of a panel… maybe a character is reading a newspaper.  Whatever.

Here, all we’ve got is 8-pages… and the crux of it is “Reagan.  No Sir, I do not care for him”.  Hey, it’s Mr. Baron’s platform… he can do with it as he pleases, but… I mean… it just feels like this was written to get high-fives around the office.  I will say, however… at least he kept it lighthearted.

From a “funny, ha-ha” perspective… I mean, this is sort of a “must see”.  It might not be as weird as Oprah interviewing Green Lantern… but, it’s still quite silly.

I’m thinking back to a contemporary of this issue… another late-80’s book, that we discussed here back in the long-ago… Millennium.  An absolute train-wreck all-around, that seemed nearly as interested in painting the Reagan’s as villains, as it did actually telling a story.

Guess I can’t really blame them… because the “story” of Millennium was damp garbage.

Keeping with Millennium for just another sec.  That story established that Nancy Reagan was……… a Manhunter!  Wouldn’t Satan, upon possessing her body, realize that she’s actually a thousands-year old killer robot?  Maybe they were already walking that back… which, is probably the smart play.

I mentioned above that this felt more lighthearted then it could have been… and I definitely want to hand it to Baron for that.  Such levity would not be possible had this story been written in “current year”… orrrrr, between the years of 2000-2008.

Overall… I guess we got a tiny bit of forward momentum.  Hopefully our writer has it all out of his system by next issue, and we can just get this thing moving along.

Tomorrow: For Love… or Money?

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