DC Comics
Review: Deadman #4
By Philip Schweier
February 14, 2018 - 09:33

DC Comics
Writer(s): Neal Adams
Artist(s): Neal Adams
Colourist(s): Neal Adams
Letterer(s): Clem Robins
Cover Artist(s): Neal Adams

The Brand family tale continues, as Boston’s father weaves his tale of woe regarding his extended disappearance into Nanda Parbat. As Deadman possesses the body of his brother, Cleve, he listens, aware his father is speaking directly to him, and figures out it’s all a lie – well, mostly – intended to lure Deadman back into the hands of Rama Kushna.

There’s no denying Neal Adams’ master rendering, presented her as powerful as ever. Where the story stumbles is in the dialogue, specifically that of the Spectre. I grew up on the Jim Aparo run in Adventure Comics in the mid-‘70s. This confirmed classic features the otherworldly poetic syntax reserved for characters that have slipped the surly bonds of Earth. Corny though it may be at times, it adds to the supernatural aspect of the character.

But here, as the Spectre confers with Deadman, his dialogue is far more human than I am accustomed to reading. It is little different from that of Robin, Green Lantern or any other costumed crime fighter. And for an omniscient wrath of God, Adams writes him as rather dim, as well.

My other concern is how little regard Adams pays to the serialized format. It’s as if he is counting on a six-issue run to be collected into TPB form. With 20 interior pages per issue, that amounts to 120 total pages. Adams has written the story accordingly, with little regard for where those issue breaks occur. As result, each chapter stops, rather than ends, and rather abruptly at that.

Rating: 6/10

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