ACW #619 – Deadman
Action Comics Weekly #619 (Deadman)
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Kelley Jones
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Daniel Vozzo
Editor – Barbara Kesel
“An unexpected delight” – Ain’t it Chris News.
That’s sure to be the cover blurb if-and-when this Deadman arc gets trade-collected. Hmm… maybe I should have added a “10/10″… DC really likes it when ya do that. They must, since… ya know, that’s what all the “legit” sites do!
Ahem, with that pith out of the way… let’s see what happened to Sgt. Cosgrove’s tongue!
Picking up where we left off last week, Deadman-as-Cosgrove is about to have his traitorous tongue cut out by Wellman Legros, the Voodoo King of New Orlean(s). Thinking fast, Boston makes Cosgrove mutter out a reply that he is truly under Legros’ control. At least I think that’s what happened… as we’re about to see, controlling a zombie is a bit different than inhabiting a living, breathing human. Now, we get a refresher on the mission… Cosgrove is to head to Madam Waxahachie’s place and abduct a pair of twin girls… which is to say, two girls total… not two sets of twins. Ya follow? Now, here’s the thing… Cosgrove is instructed not to speak with Waxahachie herself.
Deadman-as-Cosgrove hops into a squad car and… begins driving directly to Waxahachie’s place. This comes as a surprise to Boston, as… well, he hasn’t the foggiest idea where they’re headed! He assumes that the corpse is simply following Legros’ power of suggestion. Along the way, he attempts to contact the local police… however, they assume the call to be a prank, since… ya know, Cosgrove is dead and all.
Upon arrival at the Day School (nevermind that it looks to be nighttime), Cosgrove is admitted entrance by a woman named Clara. Deadman is instinctively drawn toward the twins… and is powerless to stop the body he’s inhabited. Panicked, he begins to shout for Madam Waxahachie!
Moments later the Madam arrives (wearing the Comedian’s Button to boot!)… Boston attempts to convince her that he’s not actually a policeman… but a deadman. Waxahachie quickly realizes that this is Legros’ doing… just as Cosgrove’s corpse wraps his hands around her throat. Boston tells her to do whatever she can to stop him… because, he’s not an ordinary zombie, but a Double-Zombie!
Waxahachie complies by… breaking all of Cosgrove’s fingers! Well, that was all kinds of hardcore…
She then plunges a ceremonial dagger into Cosgrove’s gut in order to allow Deadman to escape the vessel. He bodyhops from the corpse to Clara so he and the Madam can talk for a bit.
While Deadman-as-Clara shares his experience with Wellman Legros (and learns that “perfect twins” make for the best zombies), another school aid named Sid bursts into the place. He reports that, despite Boston’s best efforts, the Brogden Twins have in fact been abducted!
Ya know, I think I just realized why Doomsday Clock is running so far behind. I betcha Geoff Johns is reading every single comic book DC has ever put out, and is marking down every time a smiley-face button ever shows up on panel… with a plan to make them all somehow “sync up”. I mean, that’s just gotta be it right?
Well, to do my part as a DC shill, I might as well help out… besides the one on Madam Waxahachie’s blouse, here are a few more appearances of “The Button”:
|From Hero Hotline #3 (June, 1989)
Bob Rozakis (w) / Stephen DeStefano (a)
|From Justice Society of America (vol.3) Annual #1 (September, 2008)
Geoff Johns (w) / Jerry Ordway (a)
|From Beetle Bailey (5-29-20XX)
Not DC, but I’m sure we can make it fit
Alright, with that bit of frivolity out of the way… let’s chat about this chapter.
I quite enjoyed it! The new wrinkles about how different/challenging it would be for Deadman to fully control an inhabited zombie really added to the tension of this one. Despite the convenience factor, I appreciated that the only part of the corpse he could control was the tongue (and I assume the vocal chords). This, more or less, rendered Deadman a powerless “passenger” for this little excursion.
Let’s talk Waxahachie (waxahachie, waxahachie). Now, let’s say you’re a parent in New Orleans. Would you A) leave your child(ren) in overnight daycare? and 2) leave ’em with… Madam Waxahachie?! I mean, this is one scary-looking woman! For heaven’s sake, she carries around a skull on a stick! Think about that for a second… a skull on a stick! And… AND… since she intends for it to have affects against random zombies, I think we might assume that it’s an actual human skull! I don’t think I’d want my kids hanging out there.
Now, that’s not to say I dislike the character… from what little we know to this point, I think she’s pretty cool (I just wouldn’t entrust my kids to her). I like that she is knowledgeable about the Nawlins Zombie scene… and that she’s aware of Wellman Legros.
I’m still not quite sure what he wants with the Brogden Twins… something about their having the makings of the “perfect” zombies? So, are we to assume that Legros is going to sacrifice them? I guess we’ll find out!
Overall, even though I didn’t hate the previous Deadman (Baron/Jurgens) arc… this one is worlds better so far! I’m actually looking forward to seeing where this one goes!
Tomorrow: The Blue Light Special… and Superman appears on a single panel!
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YTLYK, this arc was collected in 2017's DEADMAN BY KELLEY JONES COMPLETE COLLECTION. It contains DEADMAN: LOVE AFTER DEATH #1-2 and DEADMAN: EXORCISM #1-2, plus stories from ACTION COMICS WEEKLY #618-621 and 623-626.