Action Comics Weekly #626 (Deadman)
Writer – Mike Baron
Pencils – Kelley Jones
Inks – Tony DeZuniga
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Daniel Vozzo
Editor – Barbara Kesel
Today is the day we say goodbye to a Deadman. He is the first of our “original six” ACW features to (permanently) head into the sunset (and the fourth feature overall to do so). For twenty out of the past twenty-six weeks (twenty-one of the past twenty-seven, if we’re counting our Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2 special), Deadman has had a “spot” on this humble blog. It’s going to be a bit strange moving forward without him…
Speaking of “moving on” and the “original six”… we’re now four weeks away from bidding adieu to the Secret Six, and four weeks after that… Blackhawk and believe it or not, Green Lantern!
Picking up right where we left off, having just been tickled silly… Deadman finds himself faced down by the Peckshaw Twins, who have occupied the bodies of Madame Waxahachie and Groundskeeper Whatshisface! “Mabel” offers up a deal for Deadman… she’ll fetch the Brogden Twins, Deadman will shift into Waxahachie’s body and just leave. So long as Deadman “never looks back”, this Peckshaw promises not to repossess the tots. Complicated enough? Dagwood-sandwichy enough?
Rather than comply completely, Boston waits for Delia to de-possess Madame Mabel… after which, he takes up residence and proceeds to kick poor possessed Luke in the crotch.
He continues to pummel on Luke, until Delia Pechshawk nyoinks Stella out of the body. Okay then…
“Mabel” and Luke head outside to their waiting car so Deadman can once again swap bodies and fill the Madame in on everything that’s gone on. Waxahachie lights up a cigarette, and doesn’t seem to express all that much concern. If the Peckshaws don’t find new hosts… they might just fade away. Yeah, that worked out so well last time, right? She decides it’s best to just call it a “win”, and bring the Brogdens back to their folks.
We wrap up back at Peckshaw Estate where Stella has decided to occupy the body of… a rat. Delia claims she’d rather fade away than to take up residence in some vermin. Though, maybe if that rat had wings? I dunno…
This was, uh, underwhelming…
Not that I needed some hyooge twist or revelation or anything… but, I definitely wanted something more than what we get. I mean, if it was always just this easy… why did it take us 64 or so pages to get here? I had figured there’d be a trick up Deadman’s sleeve that would facilitate the fall of the Zombie Queens… but, all it came down to was: a kick in the crotch?
Last week, it was a tickle-fest… this week, a kick to the crotch? C’mahhhhn. Then… if that wasn’t pedestrian enough, Waxahachie decides not to even pursue eradicating the Peckshaws? I mean, they were able to pull this all together once, what’s to stop them from doing it again? I dunno… maybe they were being set up as the big-bads for a proposed Deadman series to spin out from this? Either way, that doesn’t do a whole heckuva lot for the story we just read.
The “let’s make a deal” segment from early in the chapter… I mean, talk about overly complicated, right? You take this body, I’ll take this body… the twins stay here, you go there. You almost need a flowchart for that conversation… because, I couldn’t swear to who’d be coming out on top of that arrangement!
Okay, enough of all’a that… the story, to this point was pretty good. The ending was unfortunately sub-par. Which brings us to our last bit…
This is it for Deadman! Twenty chapters, 160 pages (give or take), and two adventures. I went into this with some preconceptions… never having been a really big fan of the character. The only time I ever really cared about ol’ Boston Brand was when he was no-longer dead during Brightest Day! When he’s “dead”, I find him mostly dull. A neat scene here and again, but for the most part… I can’t really call myself a fan.
Over this past half-year… wait, half-year? Yikes, where does the time go? Anyhoo, over this past half-year, I found myself in the position where I had to cover Deadman… if I wanted to do this Action Comics Daily thing right, that is. And, I did… so, I did.
Didn’t hate it, either! It was very seldom in my “top 2-3” stories of the week, but I was seriously expecting to find myself dreading “Deadman Day” each and every time out. I didn’t. There were some duds, to be sure… but, that’s gonna happen. It’s just the comic book law of averages. I will say that I dug the second story more than the first… it felt better structured (until this final chapter), and didn’t overstay its welcome (like the first one sorta-kinda did).
So… there’s one of the “originals” being put out to pasture… I’ll kinda miss him.
Tomorrow: Do Not Disturb
Your Moment of Vartox:
|From Superman (vol.2) #148 (1999)
Dan Jurgens (w) / Steve Epting (a)
The Main Man joins the post-Crisis DCU… a decade and a half later! Rendered into a generic warrior rather than the tragically deep character he once was. Thankfully, this version only hung around for two-issues before buggering off into the cosmos.