Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Resurrection Man #1 - A Review

Resurrection Man #1 is everything a first issue should be. For newcomers, it is a wonderful introduction to one of the most underrated books DC Comics ever published. For fans of the original series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning over a decade ago, it is a homecoming. Yet there are a few twists and turns to keep them on their toes.

Mitch Shelley is a man without a past and an uncertain future. Possessing a unique ability to die and return from the dead repeatedly, being reborn with a new superpower every time he is brought back, Mitch also has a sense of where he is needed and uses his “gift” to help others as best he can. But the forces of good and evil – The Upstairs and Downstairs departments – are both angling for Mitch’s soul and a mysterious duo of beautiful, but deadly killers has apparently targeted Mitch for some reason…

While it would be a horrible pun to say that Abnett & Lanning have brought their creation back from the dead, it would be an accurate statement. While long-time fans may not be happy about the supernatural element added into the new book, there were plenty of hints in the original series (including a throw-away line by The Phantom Stranger that there was more to Mitch’s power than met the eye. Regardless, this book does a wonderful job of setting up the core concept for old and new readers alike.

Artist Fernando Dagnino proves an able replacement for Jackson Guice, who drew the original Resurrection Man series. Fernando’s style is dark and atmospheric – appropriately spooky for the subject matter, with heavy inks that leave many scenes with heavy shadows that only serve to add to the aura of mystery about the book. The ultimate effect of this is art that looks like it belongs to a classic horror comic but with the feel of a modern-day superhero book as well.

I found myself pleasantly surprised to find that everything old is new again with this title. I remembered the old Resurrection Man series fondly but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book, except a guess that it would be good. It was. And you can expect to see me reading this book again next month and in the months to come.

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