It’s great to see that Deadman is still being showcased in the DC Universe since he was brought back into the spotlight with Blackest Night and Brightest Day. Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang tweak his history a bit in this issue but provide enough story to bring the audience back for more.
Jenkins begins the book by making minor changes to Deadman’s origins which will inevitably add to the lasting power of the character. Originally Deadman’s spirit was tied to the mortal plane by the goddess Rama Kushna to find out who murdered him and why, so that he could obtain justice. In this new take on his history, Rama ties him to the plane to assist those who are lost in their own lives and need guidance so that he could become a good man. This gives a greater purpose behind why Deadman has to inhabit the bodies of other people and if the end of the issue is any indication of the stories we will see spring out of it, this book should be a blast.
The dialogue in this issue displays Jenkins expertise as a writer. The conversation between Deadman and Madame Rose, a fortuneteller who he worked with when he was alive, is entertaining and realistic. If you’ve ever had a conversation where you walked away from the person because you didn’t want to face what was being said or were angry over it, it wouldn’t work if you were speaking to Deadman. Instead of having Deadman chase after Madame Rose, continually trying to broach the subject, Jenkins has him jump from body to body as she walks away not allowing her to escape. Using Deadman in this way is a fun take on his power and it will be exciting to see what other ways Jenkins uses his power in the coming issues.
Chang’s artwork for this series blends the Deadman character designs of old and new. His appearance has changed over the years, ranging from a typical superhero mold to an anorexic look. Chang has the perfect mix as Deadman has his muscular build but his face has an emaciated twinge to it, paying tribute to his past iterations. Blond’s coloring style gives objects and people a brighter feeling while overall keeping the tone of the book dark with the muted colors of the backgrounds.
DC Universe Presents is an interesting read, and will hopefully spotlight characters that we wouldn’t otherwise see in the DCU. Jenkins and Chang are doing great work with Deadman and the rest of this story arc is a must read for any Deadman fan!
WRITING: 3.75 / ART: 3.75 / OVERALL: 3.75