Thursday, May 31, 2012

Resurrection Man #7-9 - A Review

As I noted before, the original Resurrection Man title was one of the great lost treasures of late 90s DC Comics and the current series, through the first six issues at least, was proving to be a worthy successor to that legacy.  No small surprise given that the new series was written by the same creative duo as before - authors Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.  Have the issues since then continued the trend of excellence?  For the most part, yes.

 Issue #7, much like Issue #6, is a perfect jumping on point for new readers.  The opening pages not only establish the setting but also explain Mitch Shelley's circumstances and powers. In brief, Shelley is amnesic and remembers very little of his life.  What little he has started to remember suggests he wasn't a very nice person. In addition to his inability to die permanently and his ability to be reborn with a new superpower every time he does die,  Mitch Shelley has also developed a sixth-sense that seems to be guiding him to places where a hero is needed .  In this case, the sense has guided him to Metropolis, where he quickly finds himself stuck in a fire-fight between a MPD SWAT team and Intergang - an organized criminal group who use advanced technology in their crimes.

You couldn't ask for a better one-shot superhero story than this issue.  Abnett and Lanning quickly establish Mitch as a likeable protagonist and a man of principle. Despite his confusion over his past and his desire to get back his life, Mitch is equally determined to be a good man in his new life no matter what he might have been in the past. 

The artwork by Fernando Dagnino matches the story thematically.  Mitch's world is a dark one and the artwork reflects this.  Dagnino's pencils offer many fine details that are brought into sharp relief by the shadowy inks, while still being somewhat obscured in darkness, like Mitch Shelley's memories.

Issue #8 is another good jumping-on issue, with the opening once again reiterating Mitch's amnesia, his powers and his desire to find out who he was and how he became what he is.  The action centers upon two new players - a necromancer/bounty hunter called The Butcher and a clairvoyant detective named Kim Rebecki.  Both of them seek Mitch Shelley, having been apparently hired by separate parties for differing ends.  By issue's end, Mitch has almost formed an uneasy alliance with Rebecki, who seems to know more of Mitch's past than he does.and has come to the conclusion that he isn't the man he once was.

The quality dips a little bit with Issue #9, in which the Body Doubles catch up with Mitch shortly after he is brought down by The Suicide Squad and hilarity ensues.  While Abnett and Lanning's script is strong as ever, the narrative flow is ultimately ruined by the artwork provided by two pencilers and three inkers.- all of whom have completely different and conflicting styles.  Of the two guest artists, Jesus Saiz is by far the least offensive.  His pencils aren't bad but the heavy inks used on his pages do not do his particular style any justice.

More problematic is Andres Guinaldo's pencils, which are under-inked to the point of sketchiness at times.  What is more maddening is that the colorist (surprisingly, there is only one) seems unable to decide on a consistent skin-tone for Kim Rebecki from page to page.  What is worse, he's elected to depict Amanda Waller with a shade of skin that is more orange than brown.  Perhaps, not having read the new Suicide Squad book since the first issue, I have missed out on something?  Did Amanda Waller have some sort of accident with a Cheeto-bomb?  Or was she perhaps bitten by a vampire carrot?   I want to know!

In the end, Resurrection Man is still one of the best books DC Comics has to offer.  It is much better when it is depicted a single artist but even the worst issue of this series has proven to be better than most.  Highly recommended.  Pick up Issue #7 or #8 if you want a good place to jump in.

No comments:

Post a Comment