Is Batman the White Lantern that Deadman was searching for? Deadman is about to find out and quickly.
This issue was not about Batman. Don’t let the cover full you. It was a character examination on Deadman and played into the clichés about Batman being well-knowing very well. It also explained something that has been inciting discussions for years about who is the smartest man alive in the DC universe. It seems that it’s Batman and that Luthor could be the next one and then, Mr Terrific has he stated years ago. Deadman never had much detailed background to his story. He was just another generic super hero good-looking alpha guy. Here we learn that he was a jerk full of himself and that his predicament as Deadman was a kind of punishment. If Deadman got punished for what he did in his youth, then most of us should be sent to a gulag. He was just your typical cocky guy with the opportunity to do better but never tried to. It feels overly moralistic to paint him as a jerk when in my opinion, what he did was not uncommon at all for most people. In a sense, this reinforces the feeling that DC Comics sees its heroes as statues of greatness and perfection. These guys are supposed to be way above the average human when it comes to moral excellence, and if one of them is not up to that rigorous standard, then he will be fated to wander the Earth as a lost soul.
Reis was the perfect choice to draw the acrobatic Deadman. It felt like I was reading a Daredevil comic book. I really like how he draws his characters. Every page was lively. What’s good about Reis is that his artwork never gets in the way of the story. It supports and reinforces it without taking over, as many good artists tend to do.