Friday, February 24, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

Deadman has long been one of comic’s underrated characters. I recall vividly the character’s initial appearance in DC’s Strange Adventures way back in 1967. Strange Adventures was one of those off-titles we kids bought only when we were bored with caped heroes (which rarely happened) or if nothing else on the spinner rack looked interesting. I have very few of these in my collection today. I loved the Neal Adams covers on just about anything back then. Adams did most of the early interior art as well. Those stories were later reprinted, and I recommend you track them down. Deadman has experienced only a modest revival here and there. When DC Comics announced the three issue mini-series, I made it a point to check in. Written by Sarah Vaughn with artwork by Lan Medina Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is excellent. Author Vaughn remains true to Deadman’s original characterization, but better yet, she tells a fresh and wholly original ghost story. I enjoyed every gothic page. Arriving at Glencourt Manor, Deadman encounters Adelia Ruskin, a ghost, whose connection to Berenice, a visitor, drives the mystery. There’s romance and complicated relationships, (Nathan and Sam), all of which lends the tale an aura of gothic romance laced with supernatural occurrences. I loved the artwork by Lan Medina, assisted by Phil Hester, with colors by Jose Villarrubia. The great cover artwork on the three installments is by Stephanie Hans. Combining the appeal of the romance comics of yesteryear, with the moody narratives once found in horror comics, Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is an outstanding and wholly satisfying tale. With these three issues, I am now a fan of all the creators involved. DC Comics executives are making a heartfelt effort with their entire line of comics, and the results are fantastic books like this. I believe Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love will soon be available as a collected trade paperback. Buy it, save for Halloween, and read it at midnight. Kudos!

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