Action Comics Weekly #618 (Deadman)
“Chapter One: Grave Doings”
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Kelley Jones
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Albert De Guzman
Colors – Daniel Vozzo
Editor – Barbara Kesel
Hey… Deadman’s back! Believe it or not, we’re just one week away from having all six of our original Action Comics Weekly features back in the book!
Something you might notice when you scroll down though… Deadman looks a little bit different this time out!
We open in a graveyard with Boston Brand. For whatever reason, he references Elvis and Bruce Lee as being dead… just like him. I mean, he’s not wrong (well, maybe Elvis is still on that island)… but, what a random mention, right? Maybe it was supposed to be poignant in a way… but I didn’t see it. Anyhoo, he spies a well-dressed fellow escorting a pair of undead gravediggers onto the scene. It looks like they’re there to dig up a fallen Police Officer named Sgt. Cosgrove.
The man identifies himself as the Voodoo King of New Orleans, Wellman Legros… and, get this… he ain’t messin’ around, he even senses Deadman’s presence! His followers unearth the casket, while Legros alludes to the fact that he’s at least tangentially responsible for Cosgrove’s death.
Boston follows the trio… er, quartet, back to a mansion. Inside, Legros initiates a resurrection ritual… with Cosgrove’s corpse arranged within a star-symbol surrounded by candlelit skulls. This Wellman really knows how to throw a party, don’t he?
Before we know it, Cosgrove sits up, alive… ish. The Voodoo King begins to give the arisen Sarge some orders… however, is interrupted when he is, once again overwhelmed with the vibes of Boston Brand’s presence.
After shaking it off, Legros goes ahead with his orders. Corpse-grove is to abduct the Brogdon twins from Madame Waxahachie’s Day School. Waxahachie, Waxahachie… too bad this isn’t an audio blog… that’d be fun to say. At this point, Deadman decides to test the limits of his possession powers… by hopping into the vessel of the zombified Cosgrove… annnnnd, it works!
Boston-as-Cosgrove fights off the suggestion of the Voodoo King, only to find himself grabbed by his other followers. Legros wields a blade, and is about to cut out Cosgrove’s tongue, when Deadman realizes… he stuck!
This was pretty cool!
Before getting into the story itself, I want to talk a bit about Kelley Jones’ art. I mean, wow… how fitting is Jones for Deadman?! This is just great! Previous Deadman artist Dan Jurgens is certainly no slouch, but… this is certainly a more fitting style! For fans of this style… wait til Black Canary comes back in a handful of weeks… artist, Randy DuBurke definitely evokes the Jones style there!
Now, for the story… it’s a Voodoo story, which I suppose is interesting enough. We don’t have a whole lot in the way of context just yet… but enough to get excited for what’s to come. Legros has the ability to raise the dead, and is looking to assemble an undead army for… well I’m sure he has his reasons, we just don’t know what they are yet!
My Deadman game isn’t the strongest… but it seems like every time I read one of these, someone is able to “sense” his presence. Is that always supposed to be the case? I dunno… it’s not a good or bad thing, just a pattern I’ve noticed over time.
Overall… solid first chapter with really fun art. Didn’t think I’d be happy to see Boston back, but here we are!
Tomorrow: Closing out Nightwing!