Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

It's Altogether Ooky

Writer: Sarah Vaughn 
Illustrator: Lan Medina with Phil Hester
Color Artist: José Villarubia 
Letterer: Janice Chiang 
Cover Artist: Stephanie Hans 
Cover Price: $5.99 
On Sale Date: December 7, 2016


So what if Boston Brand and Floyd Lawton teamed up and fought crime together?




So here’s my review of Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love book two!

Explain It!

If you purchase this issue at the comic shop, try to negotiate a price of five bucks, and agree to light a dollar on fire, because the first sixth of this book is a rip-off. Eight pages of Deadman and Adelia in black panels, chatting about the things they don’t know, like why they’re trapped in Glencourt Manor, and why she’s manifested all of a sudden. Deadman even looks at Adelia’s memories by shoving his face into hers, and determines that she was murdered, but no information as to whom or why. Eight pages! The art looks pretty nice but it seems like a real scheme, like I’m looking at a catalog of prints for sale in Artist’s Alley. Eventually, they leave their ink-laden hangout and find Berenice in the living room, looking over some old things of Adelia’s. After scaring the daylights out of her, Berenice informs them that Adelia was married to the first owner of Glencourt Manor, Edward Ruskin…who I guess wasn’t very narcissistic since he didn’t name the castle he built after himself. Just then, a super weird ethereal wind blows through the place, knocking Deadman and Adelia to the ground…wait a minute, they’re ghosts! How do they get knocked to the ground? You think they’d dissipate or something. Having no correlation to that, Berenice’s boyfriend Nathan emerges from his study to take a break from writing. He tells his best gal that he has a special announcement for her later on, so she should stick around.
Of course, Berenice leaves almost immediately for town, to research some of her findings at the library. Looking through some old newspapers, Berenice finds that Adelia went missing just after her wedding, and her husband Edward was so distraught that he moved out of the mansion he’d built and fucked off to who knows where. Berenice further researches whether any ghost-binding spells have been levied against Glencourt Manor, which is something I didn’t know you could research at the library. She thinks to herself that the husband is always the obvious culprit, but he’s long dead so she can’t pursue that lead. Uh, you could research his life, Berenice? He moved out of the manor, and then what happened? Follow the money. I’m disappointed in you for giving up so quickly. While in town, Berenice heads over to the antique shop to smooth things over with Sam, after their awkward near-kiss last issue, and instead they reunite with an awkward hug. Sam has fixed Berenice’s broken bowl, which touches her heart even though it still looks like crap. Sam agrees to drive her back home, it having gotten dark outside.
Back at Glencourt Manor, Berenice wants Sam to look at some of Adelia’s stuff with his trained eye, but upon entering, they find Nathan. Turns out he’s got some big news: the first draft of the book is finished! That means they can move out of stuffy old Glencourt Manor and into an apartment in the city, which Berenice preferred before she met her ghost buddies. To further excite the moment, Nathan bends on one knee and proposes to Berenice, but when he slips the ring on the crazy haunted wind blows through the place again, bringing Nathan and Adelia terrible pain. As the house shakes and emits crazy sounds and voices, Berenice kind of stands around like a space cadet. When Sam snaps her out of it, she says she feels the darkness growing stronger, and I’m thinking if it gets any stronger than it was at the beginning of this issue, they can print this comic book in black and white. Things get freakier, and on the last page a scary smoke monster threatens Nathan, which I guess is as good a cliffhanger as any.
There are a lot of elements that I like in this book: the ghosts, the murder mystery, the love triangle, and, for the most part, the artwork. But all of these things are presented inconsistently and without good pacing. We spend too long reading about some scenes, too little on others, and the overall effect is pretty unsatisfying. Also, I don’t like Berenice as a character. I like everyone else, save for Nathan (who is clearly supposed to be a dick), but Berenice irks me. Perhaps that’s the point, as well. Insofar as not thinking Deadman was acting like Deadman, I still feel that way but I’ve gotten over it as a point of criticism. This is now its own unique story, and whether it will impact continuity remains to be seen. Considering the part Deadman’s played in this book, however, I couldn’t imagine what that impact might be.

Bits and Pieces:

The plot thickens as Berenice learns more about Adelia's sordid past and why ghosts get stuck at Glencourt Manor. Perhaps it thickens, however, a bit too slowly. Could have stood this losing a buck off its cover price, while we're on the subject.



  1. Since it's bimonthly, I've already forgotten what happened in the first issue. I read this one, but I think I'm going to have to read issues one and two again when three comes out. I don't think I would have given it such a low grade personally, maybe a 7, especially since the Art is so beautiful.

  2. I disagree strongly. The issue was beautiful and the story well done. For someone reading Deadman for the first time - I'm LOVING it.

    1. I'd say that you still aren't reading Deadman here because he doesn't do a goddamn thing in this issue. Should have simply called this Berenice: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and made it a Vertigo title.

    2. Your love in this Dark Mansion is FORBIDDEN!

      You will not be allowed to leave the theater during the microfiche scene